Peter Dunne addresses this on Twitter:
Maori freshwater claims beg question of who owns the rain? Water and air belong to all of us, equally and indivisibly.
In a seemingly conciliatory interview on Firstline this morning Pita Sharples seemed to be suggesting something similar (not online yet).
The issue of who owns water is not new. From Dunne:
“They say what comes around goes around. Here is a comment I made in March 2007 on this very issue:”
WHO OWNS THE RAIN?
United Future leader Peter Dunne says that claims by Maori Party that Maori have customary rights over fresh water go beyond what is acceptable to most Kiwis.
“The Maori Party appears to be asserting Maori rights to all New Zealand’s natural resources, the things we have in common.
“That will be a step too far for most New Zealanders.
“The fresh water claim simply begs the question, ‘Who owns the rain?’, and shows the absurdity of the position being adopted,” he says.
Mr Dunne says the fresh water argument raises again the concept of public domain which United Future tried unsuccessfully to have included in the original Foreshore and Seabed Act.
“Natural resources like air and water belong to all New Zealanders, and it is the Crown’s responsibility to exercise that ownership equally and fairly on our behalf,” he says.
“I would say the same thing today.”