Leaders on water ownership

John Key (National)

“The Government’s very firm view is that no-one owns water: we certainly don’t believe Maori own water; we don’t believe they own the airways, air or sea.”


David Shearer (Labour):

“Nobody owns water. We pay for water rights to use water, whether it be for irrigation or hydroelectricity or whatever,” he says


Pita Sharples (Maori Party)

“In one sense Maori own the water because of our whakapapa, our relationship with the environment, the forests, the mountains […] it’s part of our genealogy to be connected and our concept of ownership is not exclusive, it does not cut anyone else of ownership, it’s an obligation to use and look after,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the Government has regulatory ownership of land, “so in some ways the Government acts like the owner” and says disputes about ownership have a wide-ranging definition.

(to get a better understanding it’s worth listening to the whole interview)

Peter Dunne (United Future)

Maori freshwater claims beg question of who owns the rain? Water and air belong to all of us, equally and indivisibly.

See also: Who owns the rain?

Green Party (policy)

We would keep key decisions about urban water supply, assets and operations under the control of elected bodies and protect New Zealanders’ right to access a safe and secure supply of high quality, affordable water for drinking and sanitation.

(More to add as they are found)

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. robertguyton

     /  12th July 2012

    “I don’t know whether he planned to use those words in advance, or he just happened to use them in response to a question (which wouldn’t be surprising since he has used similar words before).”

    Pleeeeeeaaaase, Pete! Please! Nobody could be that politically naive.

    • Naive as to think a politician in an interview won’t know every question in advance and won’t have every answer pre-memorised?

      Naive to think that someone won’t repeat similar phrases that they have used before without it being blown up?

      Naive to think that some people with political motives wouldn’t resort to trying to escalate relatively innocuous comments into some sort of political and racial divide?


  2. robertguyton

     /  12th July 2012

    Btw – the Greens comment (above) is very sensible. Dunne’s is fluffy, unicorn and rainbow thinking. Good that you showcased the two together, making the contrast more obvious. Has Dunne been hitting the weed again? “Water and air belong to all of us, equally and indivisibly.” What a hippy!

  3. robertguyton

     /  12th July 2012



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s