Who owns the rain?

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:”


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.”

Leave a comment


  1. To answer Peter Dunne’s question by supporting his point:

    Water ownership, in the legal sense of rivers, lakes or other ways would be too hard to pin down because you still have to come back to the question: who owns the point of source of water or air? That is to say further – the original point of source has never really been questioned has it? Because whoever owns that – would supersede others wanting water or air ownership.

    I believe God owns the water and air for that matter– we better deal with Him first.

    The other concern is the exploitation of water or air for profit. Now, here is the centre piece of any debate about water or air rights: If we need water to survive, air to breathe, should we commodify it for others to buy in order to survive? NO. Would God like to? NO.

  2. robertguyton

     /  12th July 2012

    Maori claims over water do not “beg the question, “who owns the rain?”
    Dunne has pulled that “question” out of a sunless place and you’ve done your best to give it credence. It has none.

  3. robertguyton

     /  12th July 2012

    But it’s not the issue here, is it. Dunne’s pretence that it is is…typical.

  1. Leaders on water ownership « Your NZ

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