The Green Party has welcomed the establishment of the new Crown-Māori partnership on freshwater, Te Kāhui Wai Māori, and will continue to push strongly for Māori rights over water to be upheld, Co-Leader Marama Davidson said today.
“We welcome the establishment of Te Kāhui Wai Māori as it sends a clear signal that this Government will engage robustly with tangata whenua on their rights to freshwater, as opposed to the previous Government who kicked the can down the road,” said Ms Davidson.
“We are calling on Government to ensure they also strengthen their engagement with the Iwi Chairs Forum, and with hapū leaders who hold the mandate of their people.
“All New Zealanders have a birth-right to clean water. This is as simple as going down to a local river or lake for a swim, but the mauri of our waterways is being undermined by over-use and pollution.
“The Green Party affirms that water is a taonga guaranteed to hapū and iwi under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and that this should be acknowledged in all areas of water management and use.
“We have long fought for Māori rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga rights over water need to be upheld, and for the intrinsic value of water to be protected from pollution and over-use.
“Water is of course a vital economic resource for New Zealand and the Green Party believes that as New Zealanders we have a shared responsibility to protect water and to preserve all its benefits,” said Ms Davidson.