28 Feb 2013

Win claimed from court ruling

6:32 am on 28 February 2013

A hapu is claiming a win from the Supreme Court, despite judges dismissing a bid by Maori groups to stop the partial sale of state assets.

Waikato sub-tribe Pouakani and the Maori Council failed in its attempt to block the Government's plan to sell shares in hydro power generators - but they're seizing on one decision.

The Supreme Court says the Crown is bound to comply with the principles of the Treaty before deciding to sell the shares - rejecting the contention that compliance with the Treaty doesn't apply to the proposed share sale.

The head of Pouakani, Tamati Cairns, is pleased with that part of the decision.

He says he has to remain positive in what he describes as a really negative environment - and the positive is that one section of the Supreme Court ruling is almost a ratification of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

The Government says its share offer plan is on track.

It says it's always been firmly of the view that the partial sale of shares does not in any way affect the Crown's ability to recognise rights and interests in water, or to provide redress for genuine Treaty claims.