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 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.

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

UPDATE: a Larry Williams radio interview with Rankin.