John Key has copped most of the flack over water ‘ownership’, but he holds a fairly common view.
Labour has exactly the same position as National – nobody owns the water – and if there were an adverse finding of the Waitangi Tribunal would not necessarily follow them.
Yet leader David Shearer is unable to articulate it strongly for fear of sounding like National and for fear of offending the party’s Maori constituency.
Instead, he joined Mana’s Hone Harawira this week in calling for the Maori Party to end its support agreement with the National Government.
Fran O’Sulllivan looks at what David Shearer stands for.
I found myself wondering this week whether Shearer – who notoriously hates wearing a suit and tie – really only gets supercharged when he is wearing a flak jacket.
On water ownership…
The Shearer argument went something like this: Yes, John Key is inflaming things by rarking up the Maori Council and saying his Government won’t be bound by any Waitangi Tribunal ruling on the push to stop the Mighty River Power share float until a deal is done in this area.
But, no, Maori don’t have a valid water claim. Nobody owns water. We pay for water rights to use water, whether it be for irrigation or hydro-electricity or whatever.
A waterproof jacket is different to a flak jacket.