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National govt outed on secret water negotiations - Peters

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The National Government has been outed with Environment Minister, Nick Smith, confirming negotiations with many Iwi on demands for water ownership. This of course has been in the past denied by National.

"Sir Mark Soloman on The Nation this morning also admitted as much without saying it outright," Mr Peters said.

"This explains Ngai Tahu lodging an appeal last year over its inability to convert 7000 hectares of Hurunui forest into dairy farms. For those with existing water consents and rights, it is clear National has a new policy of ‘last in, best dressed.’

"Nothing National does should surprise anyone anymore. Kiwi not Iwi has been reversed. In Parliament, National’s Dr Shane Reti expressed concern over the lack of spending on "Maori spiritual health," meanwhile, Minister Nick Smith is clearly looking after big Iwi’s "financial health" by catering for new water demands.

"In addition, new unelected Maori representation is being negotiated on to water control authorities all over the country. The issue is why has the National Party not got the honesty to admit that?

"The Government, and the Minister should explain to New Zealanders why Government owned Landcorp, chaired by Federation of Maori Authorities head, Traci Houpapa, is converting the 26,000-hectare Wairakei Estate north of Taupo into mega dairy farms on poor quality soils for tens of thousands of dairy cows?

"And how does this square with her being a Crown Appointee on the Waikato River Authority, an authority whose role includes "restoration" "protection" and the "wellbeing" of the Waikato River?

"This means Waikato’s farmers, despite spending $350m on environmental work over the past five years, will become the fall-guys. Landcorp’s Waikato conversions will have a different water use criteria from the rest of Waikato’s dairy farms, whilst at the same time pumping nutrients into the Waikato River.

"Water is a God-given gift but National incompetently opened up a can of worms when it privatised the power assets and put a dollar figure on the value of water. As New Zealand First warned; Iwi now want their slice of the action and all Kiwis, Maori and non-Maori, will end up paying for it.

"National voters need to have a good long look at what is happening in their name because this certainly is not what they claimed to be voting for. If a separatist New Zealand is what they want then they should say so and praise their party for delivering it," Mr Peters said.

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