Mark Solomon has broken ranks with the greedy, grasping Maori Council who are intent on gang style standover to extract cash form the government:
An influential iwi leader may have given the Government’s legal team a boost as it prepares to mount a defence to a Maori Council bid to stop its flagship asset sales programme.
Ngai Tahu iwi leader Mark Solomon told TVNZ’s Q and A yesterday that he does not believe that any sell-down of the southern state power company Meridian would have any impact on Ngai Tahu’s rights and interests in water.
That is exactly the argument the Crown will be mounting in the High Court at Wellington tomorrow against the part sale of the first SOE off the block, Mighty River Power.
He also disagreed with the finding of the Waitangi Tribunal that it would be a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi if the Government proceeded to sell shares without first providing Maori with a remedy to recognise their rights.
He pointed out that that tribunal had also said that a sell-down of 49 per cent did not prevent the Government from addressing the rights and the interests of Maori – a contradiction the Government has similarly pointed to on several occasions.
“Personally I do not believe that the sell-down of parts of Meridian will affect Ngai Tahu’s rights and interest to water,” Mr Solomon said.