27 Feb 2015

Te Arawa to draft cultural values on water

8:15 am on 27 February 2015

The central North Island iwi collective of Te Arawa is talking about developing a list of cultural values to help explain why water is important to the tribes, which it hopes to share with other iwi.

Te Arawa leader Sir Toby Curtis.

Te Arawa leader Sir Toby Curtis. Photo: RNZ / Rosemary Rangitauira

Te Arawa members have met twice already to discuss values, as part of a project to identify what those are.

Tribal leader Sir Toby Curtis said he planned to deliver the information to the Iwi Chairs Forum to take back to their iwi, before passing it on to the Government.

He said the Crown saw water as a commodity to be sold on, while Maori saw the water as a commodity to pass on to future generations.

Sir Toby said both ideas had a point of excluding people.

He said its project aimed to make sure everyone was included in the right to water.

Sir Toby was also a member of the Iwi Chairs Forum, which recently reached an agreement to look at water rights.

He hoped it would help Government bodies and the public understand the connection tangata whenua have to the water.