Ngapuhi wind claim seems to be serious

Last week David Rankin said there would be Maori claims they should be paid wind royalties for wind power. This was questioned as a possible wind up – because it seemed so ludicrous – but apparently it’s serious.

Ngapuhi lodge claim over wind

Ngaphui have formally lodged a claim at the Waitangi Tribunal for commercial use of the wind.

Spokesperson David Rankin says the tribe is making a pre-emptive move before any wind farms are set up in Northland.

He says the wind can be classified as a protected ‘taonga’ – or treasure – and Maori should have a say in how it is used in commercial power generation.

“Like fish in the 1980s, and water more recently, wind will become a property right and its commercial use will be a tradable commodity,” says Mr Rankin.

He says non-commercial use of the wind will not be affected, and that any criticism of the claim is “flatulence”.

This is going to stretch Maori credibility even more. There is already widespread disquiet over some Maori water claims.

Waitangi tribunal to recommend rain guages?

Will the Waitangi tribunal recommend everyone installs rain guages?

It would make rain royalties much easier to measure.

Waitangi Tribunal claim for dividend on wind generation

As the Government prepares to negotiate with Maori over ownership of rivers, a Waitangi Tribunal claim is being finalised for Maori to earn a dividend for the use of wind for commercial electricity generation.

Ngapuhi political commentator and Hone Heke Foundation chairman, David Rankin, has been approached by a cohort of hapu representatives to act as spokesperson for the claim.

“I’m not yet convinced about the full merits of the claim,” says Mr Rankin, “but in my preliminary discussions with the hapu representatives, they make some good points and I am hopeful that they will be able to get their claim finalised over the next few months.”

According to Mr Rankin, the planned claim will insist that a pan-tribal body be established to manage shares in commercial wind-generated electricity, and to exercise a casting vote on where wind turbines can be located.

Mr Rankin says that Maori entitlement to the wind can be justified under article two of the Treaty of Waitangi, which guarantees Maori full and exclusive ownership of all their properties. “Traditionally, the wind was regarded as a deity in Maori society, and Maori do not consider the Crown have the right to use it without Maori consent.”

Mr Rankin is encouraged by the recent Tribunal claim for water, and believes that the claim to wind will lead on to other areas of property rights such as aerospace.

———————————————–

Press Release by David Rankin at 11:48AM, 04 Sep 2012

UPDATE: a Larry Williams radio interview with Rankin.

National talk tough with Waitangi Tribunal

National are pressuring the Waitangi Tribunal to come up with findings this month to enable the float of Mighty River Power to run to schedule in September – or at least to enable the Government to proceed while appearing to have given due consideration to the Waitangi Tribunal.

We’re not waiting, Govt tells tribunal

The Government says it will decide early next month if it will go ahead with the sale of Mighty River shares this year, whether it has a detailed Waitangi Tribunal report on Maori water rights or not.

Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall yesterday told the tribunal to speed up the delivery of its findings on a Maori Council claim into water rights by a month.

The ministers said leaving the tribunal decision until next month as scheduled would affect the Government’s entire asset-sales programme.

Mr English said he had asked the tribunal to deliver its findings by August 24 because the Government would need to make decisions by the first week of September if it were to proceed with the partial float of Mighty River Power this year.

He said the Government would make its decision then whether it had the tribunal’s findings or not, “on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of July 30″.

Difference of opinion on timing:

In that memorandum this week, the tribunal requested the Government delay the Mighty River float until it delivered its findings.

It said such a delay should have little or no impact on the timing of the planned float.

But Mr English said this was incorrect. Delaying beyond the first week of September could mean the Government lost the chance to make the initial public offer this year and could result in a delay to the entire asset-sales plan over the next two years.

The September report from the tribunal was to be interim, it may have to be a bit more interim.

Bill English put out this press release yesterday:

Government seeks information from Tribunal

02 August 2012

The Government has written to the Waitangi Tribunal seeking further information on the Tribunal’s findings, recommendations and supporting reasoning with respect to its inquiry into national fresh water and geothermal resources.

Ministers have also clarified timing constraints under which the Government is operating for the proposed sale of a minority shareholding in Mighty River Power in 2012, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall say.

“The Government wants to consider the Tribunal’s recommendations and the reasons behind them as part of its decision on the Mighty River Power share offer this year,” they say.

“As we have said, we want to act in good faith and carefully consider the Tribunal’s recommendations.

“However, we appreciate the Tribunal’s interim direction on 30 July did not make substantive findings on any of the issues it identified. So we have today asked the Tribunal to provide its recommendations and reasoning by 24 August.

“To proceed with a Mighty River share offer in 2012, ministers would need to make decisions by the first week of September.

“We would do this on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of 30 July.

“However, ministers would welcome the opportunity to consider the Tribunal’s detailed findings, its recommendations and its reasoning, which we do not have at this stage.”

The Government has also clarified the timing constraints it faces in making decisions about proceeding with the Mighty River Power share offer in 2012.
“The Tribunal expressed a view that there would be minimal or no delay to the share offer if it reported on stage one of its inquiry by the end of September,” the ministers say.

“However, there are a limited number of windows each year in which a share offer can take place.

“Delaying a decision beyond the first week of September and losing the 2012 window for the offer would have significant consequences, not only for the Mighty River Power offer, but also in delaying the rest of the share offer programme over the next two years.

“We have said consistently that we would welcome timely recommendations from the Tribunal. With that in mind, we have asked the Tribunal whether it is able to provide its recommendations and supporting reasoning by 24 August, so ministers are able to consider them alongside all other relevant information.”

http://www.billenglish.co.nz/archives/834-Government-seeks-information-from-Tribunal.html

Government seeks information from Tribunal

(Media release from Bill English)

02 August 2012

The Government has written to the Waitangi Tribunal seeking further information on the Tribunal’s findings, recommendations and supporting reasoning with respect to its inquiry into national fresh water and geothermal resources.

Ministers have also clarified timing constraints under which the Government is operating for the proposed sale of a minority shareholding in Mighty River Power in 2012, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall say.

“The Government wants to consider the Tribunal’s recommendations and the reasons behind them as part of its decision on the Mighty River Power share offer this year,” they say.

“As we have said, we want to act in good faith and carefully consider the Tribunal’s recommendations.

“However, we appreciate the Tribunal’s interim direction on 30 July did not make substantive findings on any of the issues it identified. So we have today asked the Tribunal to provide its recommendations and reasoning by 24 August.

“To proceed with a Mighty River share offer in 2012, ministers would need to make decisions by the first week of September.

“We would do this on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of 30 July.

“However, ministers would welcome the opportunity to consider the Tribunal’s detailed findings, its recommendations and its reasoning, which we do not have at this stage.”

The Government has also clarified the timing constraints it faces in making decisions about proceeding with the Mighty River Power share offer in 2012.
“The Tribunal expressed a view that there would be minimal or no delay to the share offer if it reported on stage one of its inquiry by the end of September,” the ministers say.

“However, there are a limited number of windows each year in which a share offer can take place.

“Delaying a decision beyond the first week of September and losing the 2012 window for the offer would have significant consequences, not only for the Mighty River Power offer, but also in delaying the rest of the share offer programme over the next two years.

“We have said consistently that we would welcome timely recommendations from the Tribunal. With that in mind, we have asked the Tribunal whether it is able to provide its recommendations and supporting reasoning by 24 August, so ministers are able to consider them alongside all other relevant information.”

http://www.billenglish.co.nz/archives/834-Government-seeks-information-from-Tribunal.html

On taniwha it’s it’s it’s…difficult to comment diplomatically

Reporting from the Maori Council statement at the Waitangi Tribunal.

Taniwha proof of Maori water rights

Mr Geiringer said hapu and iwi which spoke at the hearing had clearly shown that the relationship they had with their water in 1840 and since was akin to the modern English concept of ownership.

“Hapu have had in 1840 a relationship for which the closest cultural equivalent within modern English concepts is one of ownership – of full-blown property rights. What I’m going to ask you to find is that one at least it seems highly likely that the same could be said of every hapu and every water resource throughout Aotearoa.”

He said Pakeha scoffed at the concept of taniwha because they did not understand it.

However, the Maori belief that taniwha were the guardians of their waterways giving them exclusive use of that water was evidence that Maori believed they ‘owned’ the water in modern English terms.

“People say ‘in this resource is my taniwha, my guardian spirit. He protects me, he protects my water resource. He’s not your taniwha so if you are going to use that resource without my permission, he will do terrible things to you’.

Phew, what can one say apart from “I think this makes Key’s option of ignoring a bit easier”.

Ok, I can saymore, but just as well I can’t comment at The Standard at the moment, any perceived slight on anything Maori can get a hammering there. Nevertheless I’ll try and keep it diplomatic.

I can understand that there may have been widespread belief in taniwha in 1840. But we are living in 2012, 172 years later. Most Maori will now be either Christian or non-religious.

If Maori claims want to be taken seriously they have to get serious. I don’t know if they really deeply feel they are right about taniwha based rights, or they are trying it on, knowing that criticism of Maori culture is often severely frowned on.

But I’ll stand up and call this as I see it. We have to put a stop to this mumbo jumbo coercion. This is a taniwha too far.

Note: In the same news report from NZH it says that the Maori Council counsel has had a severe cut to his fees. On the surface this seems very unfair to the claimants.

Another unelected Maori trying to dictate

What’s in the water at the Waitangi Tribunal? Is it a tribunal, or an unelected Maori parliament?

Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul says the Maori Party’s supporters are now calling for an end to its relationship with National over the water issue.

‘Act like Maori’ – leaders to Maori Party

Maori leaders are speaking out against the Maori Party, with claims its co-leaders will not quit the Government because they have got no other jobs to go to.

A Waitangi Tribunal hearing into Maori ownership of water resources has heard evidence from iwi and hapu who are upset at the Prime Minister’s so-called dismissal of the hearing.

“They have nowhere else to go and so for them, their political life is almost at the O.K. Corral stage,” he says.

“In a Maori world, they should act like Maori – defend their mana, not the money.”

Maori Party MPs have been elected. By Maori voters. How many votes did Maanu Paul get?

Maybe he has been elected to the Maori Council. If so, who votes for that?  It’s not clear how the Maori Council Executive Committee is chosen, their website is very sparse.

The news reports says Maanu Paul is co-chairman, but that’s not what it says on their website. Maybe it’s out of date. It’s certainly incomplete.

Who is Maanu Paul speaking for? And with what mandate?

Sykes v Key on water and coalitions

Annette Sykes has warned John Key to stick to his knitting:

PM warned to leave water rights issues to the lawyers

Maori rights lawyer Annette Sykes has suggested Prime Minister John Key should either get a law degree or stay quiet about Maori water rights issues.

“Perhaps he needs to go and get a law degree, which has been one of my concerns about him since he started talking about this. He really does not understand the complexity of the overlay of rights relating to resources like water.”

Fair enough. But Sykes also says:

Ms Sykes also said Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia should put aside the ‘baubles’ of her office and remember she is Maori by walking out of the Maori Party’s agreement with National over water rights.

As Mana Party president, Ms Sykes said Mrs Turia in particular should have a strong stance on the issue because it was her own Whanganui iwi which was among the first to fight for rights over fresh water. Ms Sykes said if Mrs Turia did not act she was effectively abandoning the fight of her own people.

“I beg Tariana, who I’ve got the hugest respect for, to sit back and reflect and in the spirit of Che Guevera who obviously influenced her last week, position herself for freedom and the rights of our people rather than to take money as a Prime Minister’s friend at the table.”

Perhaps Sykes should get elected as a politician or stay quiet about party coalition relationships.

She said both Mrs Turia and Pita Sharples would have to give up a sizable portion of their salaries if they gave up their ministerial posts.

“It’s time for them to do that, it’s time to forget about money and promote the mana of our people. That’s one of the problems – when you’re given the baubles of the Crown to sit at a table and you’re going to have those baubles taken away it does sometimes impact on moral appropriateness and I’m asking them to put that to one side and think like Maori, act like the rangatira [chiefs/ leaders] they are and stand up for our people.”

There seems to be a conflict of interest. Is Sykes acting on behalf of clients on the issue of water rights? Or is she acting on behalf of a party trying to play politics at the Tribunal?

Annette Sykes is a lawyer acting for claimant hapu at the Waitangi Tribunal hearing on whether state asset sales should be put on hold until Maori water rights are resolved.

Flak jackets versus water proof coatings

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.

From: Tide of water issue uncomfortably high

Tricky position.

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.

From: Shearer lacks focus out of danger zone

A waterproof jacket is different to a flak jacket.

Labour – waking on water or feigning sleep?

More analysis is emerging now the initial Waitangi Tribunal and water furore has calmed down.

Water row raises complex issues

The campaign against asset sales that Labour and the Greens are running has become dangerously mixed up with Maori claims to water ownership.

The Maori Council’s bid to delay the partial privatisation of four state-owned energy companies was at first seen as a welcome new angle of attack.

But the Waitangi Tribunal hearings, where the council is seeking a finding that the share sales should be put on hold until water ownership claims are resolved, is being used as a platform for radical demands.

The focus has shifted from the asset sales programme to whether or not Maori should own water.

I suspect initial hopes that it might simply add weight to the anti-asset sales campaign will have changed to major wariness of what might happen.

While Labour always enjoys divisions between the Government and its partners, it needs to be very careful about the way it handles the water ownership fiasco.

On this issue it can’t afford to be equivocal any more than the Government can.

And it hardly needs reminding just how seriously Maori rights issues can threaten a Government.

The NZMC presumably knew exactly what they wanted to achieve. Hopefully Labour have woken up from their anti-asset obsession. Or maybe they are feigning sleep, which mightn’t be a bad way to try and ride this out.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 185 other followers