16 Feb 2012

Maori kuia says asset sales threat to guardians of water

7:17 pm on 16 February 2012

A highly respected Maori elder from northern Hawke's Bay says the Government's partial sale of four state owned enterprises, three of which own power stations, threatens the guardianship which Maori have over fresh water.

Pauline Tangiora from Mahia says water is a taonga which must be treasured for future generations.

She says Maori regard water as a life giving force which is used for spiritual needs and blessings, as well as for growing food.

Mrs Tangiora says she's seen in her travels overseas as an Earth Charter Commissioner and member of the Earth Council, what happens when indigenous people lose control of their assets.