No one owns water

This week the Maori Council are in front of the Waitangi Tribunal advancing their claim that Maori own the water in New Zealand.

A Waitangi Tribunal hearing began today after the Maori Council lodged a claim over the issue of water rights.

The hearing has been fast-tracked because of National’s partial asset sales programme and will consider whether Treaty claimants are being denied a future stake in the state-owned power companies and the broader questions of Maori water and geothermal rights.

The hearing got underway after and hour-long welcome ceremony.

Prime Minister John Key has made it clear that he believes nobody owns the water, but indecisive David Shearer wouldn’t offer an opinion no matter how many times he got asked.


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  • Vlad

    Decent enough person, utterly unfit to lead the country.  He should be regretting his decision to go into politics.

    • gazzaw

      Totally agree Vlad, make a great neighbour but he just isn’t leadership material. Who manipulated him into accepting the job? They did it for a purpose.  

      • TravisPoulson

        The same purpose I would put him in, to keep out David Cunliffe!

    • Pukakidon

      What a poor bumbling man, I am now starting to feel sorry for the guy.   He has obviously been promoted well past his capability.

      • Troy

        A confirmed idiot – hasn’t got the balls to stand in front of a camera and make a decision.  He suffers from the Peter Principle – nowhere near competent to be a major party leader…. geesh Labour, what  were you thinking!

  • TravisPoulson

    Why can’t this rambling idiot just answer the bloody question. It’s easy, nobody owns water, unless you purchase it in a bottle. Absolutely no initiative to show leadership, too scared to trip up and lose the maori vote, but instead losing more support from the rest of new Zealand. 

    At least Key has the balls to come out and say no one owns it. Keep it up David, the effort to stay out of government is coming along well. 

    • TravisPoulson

      “I…I….I….I…it’s…it’…it’s…well…well…I…..I….I…..” for goodness sake, just spit it out!

      • James Stephenson

        Even if you buy it in a bottle, you’re still only borrowing the stuff…

      • TravisPoulson

        Yep that’s a good point James, it’s recycled eventually and goes straight back into circulation. 

    • Ford

      if no one owns the water noone has the right to a bottle or not
      and that rambling idiot key likes to avoid answering questions as well

      • TravisPoulson

        Well technically you could charge $3.50 for a drink bottle, which happens to have water in it for free, and also adding the cost of purification, bottling etc to the charge.  

      • Ford

        how did i know that was coming..same as buying water in a get around that argument they say you are paying for a service the water is free..all word games..also did you know if water comes out of your house tap at the  correct PH level you can legally bottle it and sell it?

      • TravisPoulson

        Generally it’s been my experience that water in bars has been free, probably just a selective few that are tight enough to charge for it. I think this subject was a story a while ago regarding sober drivers being charged whilst doing the decent thing and looking out for their mates. Never heard of the PH scenario.

      • TravisPoulson

        Re: my last comment, a story as recent as today:

        albeit slightly drifting off topic. 

      • Ford, I have numerous complaints about your behaviour while I was absent. I haven’t yet reviewed the comments while I was away. You are on notice until I have.

      • Ford

        thats nice whale

      • Ford

        Whale..i could complain about others behavior too but im not that much of a sook

      • With respect Whale, isn’t that like “I’ve been hearing stories about you, I’ll see in you in my office after school”? Couldn’t you rather “review the comments” and then sort it – or not…? Your comment is like an invitation to a public hanging.

      • Ford, take as you will…I don’t often get complaints…when I do I look into them…Generally I prefer an unmoderated comments stream.

        I don’t tolerate racism and I don;t tolerate people abusing my hospitality. Dr Chris Pemberton of Otago University is one who is abusing my generosity, he says things in comments that he would never say to my face. He thought he could safely do that because he wrongly thought he was anoymous.

      • Greg M

        Nah Ford’s ok, robust debate with a bit of profanity is always good.

      • Greg M

         WO, is this the Dr Pemberton the well respected cardiologist?
        If it is, out the bastard.

      • Phronesis

        Pemberton is not a cardiologist, he’s not even a medical doctor.

      • Greg M

         Thanks for the heads up Phronesis, I must have my wires crossed.

      • Mediaan

        Will someone take this pathetic uninformed piece of membrane and drag him past a few businesses, people earning money by working? The school he went to should have done it.

        People do things for other people, you see Fordie. It’s a system which lets them do something called services or supply of goods, and the …

        Oh, why bother.

      • Mr_Blobby

        Just my 5 cents worth Blubber Boy but FORD is not even in the same league as Phil the pill whore.
        Once the boy gets himself a job he should settle down.
        The thing I like most about the right wing blogs is that they are open and do allow a degree of dissent. Unlike the left were if you are not 100% with the program you are gone.
        But it is your Blog call, your call.

  • thor42

    What gets me is how utterly bloody **negative** Maori are about the whole mixed-ownership thing. 
    You would think that iwi groups would be **falling over each other** in their rush to get a bit of the action and buy some shares in the assets being partly-floated. THAT would be the positive way to approach things, but no – all we see is that Maori plan to do their usual thing and oppose and fight all the way.

    • TravisPoulson

      Perhaps proceeds from claims have dried up….

    • Phil ure still a butthole

      Ah, Thor, indeed they are…but trying to get those shares for free! Apartheid is alive and well in NZ?

      • Phronesis


  • farmboy

    whats fucken next will i have to pay maori to drink water from my own rain water tank

    • TravisPoulson

      No, but you may have to pay a cloud storage tax and supply fee in the form of a gravity tax chargeable by per metre fallen from cloud. Hope this helps, cheers. 

      • davewin

         And don’t forget the tribute to the rain god to get the water down here….

    • Ford

      a few years ago didnt maori want to claim air space over nz up to 300 km ?
      and as for that tank..ownership might be disputed depending on who owned the raw materials to make it

    • gazzaw

      If they own the water farmboy then maybe you should be looking at legal action when your farm gets flooded.

      • Mediaan


        That’s one future possibility – sue them because they own the water.

        And, in the case of the up-river power companies, in the past flooding events in Lower Waikato, north of Huntly, we know that the extent of flooding is related to what they are hiding or letting go through their dams. They joined river systems from the Wanganui area and the Taupo area, so as to get flow through their turbines when they wanted it.

        There’s also potential liabilities

      • Mediaan

        To continue…

        The dams are holding or letting go water from their artificially-created doubled-up river system, engineered mid twentieth century. That is what creates the occasional flooding events down river in Huntly and farmlands north of there. And the farmers are left with the damage, losses, and bills for repair.

        Everyone has been keeping quiet about this. But it is a liability both for the power generators and for other parties.

        One day the farmers will get time to sit down and call out for compensation. From whom?

      • Troy

        They’d also own all the shit that gets out of the sewerage system into the sea – yup, they can take care of that too.

    • kehua

      No but if you live in the Auckland Council area you have to pay $520 a year for purifying it through your own water field in your own paddocks. They are greedy, criminal arseoles. 

  • Sir Cullen’s sidekick

    What is the problem here guys? Sheep Shearer is admitting that he has no clue of what he is talking about and where he is. He is showing tremendous leadership and if you are jealous about it, please move aside. He is on track to win 2014 elections.

  • Steve Crow

    Next they will claim ownership of the air we breath. When will someone have the balls to shut the whole Waitangi Tribunal down. When will pakehas start charging Maori technology licence fees FFS. 

    • Mediaan

      Non-Maori should be kicking up a fuss about the Waitangi Tribunal, because the Treaty of Waitangi says everyone is supposed to get the same – Maori and non-Maori. That is what the missionaries and administrators got agreement on, such as it was.

      Where’s my bit?

  • What a drip! 

  • Oswald Bastable

    Wait untill they decide they own the air.

    Don’t laugh….

  • WayneO

    Remember they suggested charging rent for the radio waves transmitted over their land?

    What if the water falls as rain on my land (by their logic I own it), if it then flows into “their” rivers and flows across “their” land, are they going to charge me rent for that too? Where is the demarcation point and the ownership of water transfer? 

    This bullshit has to stop. Dr. Don has a point. Stop pandering to these few wankers that have no interest in anything until the dollar signs start showing.

  • Grizz30

    If manure could be turned into something of value, Maori would claim that they own the shit that comes out of my arse.

  • Rodger T

    Of course Shearer hasn`t offered an opinion , Helen hasn`t told him what his opinion is yet.

    • TravisPoulson

      I think you just ruined the next instalment of ‘texts from New York’.

  • kevin

    The rain, aka water, that falls in NZ was originally sucked out of the brown country next door, Aussie. Look at the weather patterns. Just to make it slightly more complicated for grabbaz.

    • frosty

      Ah so the Abo’s own it?  Will the Maori stand up in support of the Aboriginal claim to our waters?

  • SteveOves

    Well if Maori are going to own the water does that mean they will pay for any damages caused by flooding, torrential downpour, etc?

    • thor42

      Good call, SteveOves! 
      We can hold Maori Affairs responsible, and sue old Rangi the sky-god for dumping too much water.
      Given that Maori do such stupid things as holding up roading works because of “taniwha”, then two can play that game.

      • TravisPoulson

        Ah yes the taniwha! forgot all about that. Amazing how imaginary friends keep getting in the way of progress.

    • Greg M

       Spot on Oves. I have six leaky apartments to manage, ( out of 196 ), I will send this lot the bill.

  • farmboy

    if every1 thinks we dont care about the waterways now, declare the maori own it and then see what happens.
     last time i looked there wasnt to many maori farm owners, u know hard work and all that 

    • Hemitaipiti

      There could be but there land was stolen and given to white farmers

      • farmboy

        thank god for that rangi new zealand would be the land of the long long weeds if you owned it, by the way when u did own it all you did fuck all with it,you had no animals to farm b4 webought them here

      • Mediaan

        Utter rubbish. There were some land confiscations after tribal war actions in areas like Waikato. Having signed the Treaty, Maori were supposed to abide by it, but they still ignored it when it suited and chose warfare instead.

        — Arguably, these acts cancelled the Treaty, by the way. You can’t sign a Treaty saying you will accept governance by a Sovereign power that promises to protect your existing possessions, and then just ignore it and go to war against it.

        All the tribes involved in wars against civil authority, post 1840, have given up heir Treaty rights when they went to war

      • frosty

        The unbroken, unproductive land that was good for fuck all…

    • TravisPoulson

      Not sure what the status is now, but there was a tract of land in coastal Taranaki that was given back to the maori and wasn’t utilised for several years just because 2 tribes couldn’t come to an agreement and get along to make it work. It’s probably still covered in waist deep grass not making money. 

  • LesleyNZ

    Eh? Better tell him he is wrong. If you understand the water cycle you will know that no one on earth owns the water. Jolly hard to stop it all evaporating. God owns the water – he made it – for our enjoyment and to stay alive.

    • Guest

      god owns it, ffs, which god owns it then ?

  • Mr_Blobby

    Tough job young David. Read between the lines. “ Fuck off you tossers nobody owns the water, I can’t say it because I don’t want to upset the Maori faction, the gaggle of Gays, Lesbians, Self serving unionists, what’s left of the sister hood etc. Not to mention I can’t infer the Government could be right.”
    The Maori elite are probably trying to devalue the assets before they buy into them, by scaring off any other potential investors. There will be some undisclosed underhand negotiations for Maori support. Like the Government share being available for future treaty settlements.

    • TravisPoulson

      Did you intentionally leave out the Greens?

      • Mr_Blobby

        No Trav
        If you read the post I put an etc because the list is very long.
        The reason I did not specifically mention the Greens was because they are not part of the Labor party, yet. I tend to overlook the Greens because I see them as a, sub human species, that act like a parasite on the rest of us. Along with criminals, long term beneficiaries and increasingly bureaucrats.
        But hey, I apologize, unreservedly, to any Muppet that feels that I did not give them a mention.  

  • farmboy

    better off to buy shares in fonterra anyway

  • Johnbronkhorst

    Keep it up IWI….I can see the polls wanting  the assets sold growing by the hour!!!

  • Montana Muse

    There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.  All he said is that Maori can go to court, big deal so can my cat. What is the Laybooor position on this … oh wait ..a position on anything.  He is supposed to show moral leadership,  oh wait…

  • Positan

    Shades of 1951.  Remember Walter Nash?  “We’re neither for nor against the watersiders …”

    Labour never changes.

  • boonman

    If nobody owns the water then who gets the money from my water rates? Or don’t I have to pay them any more? Sweet!

    • TravisPoulson

      Not so fast tiger, it costs money to maintain the infrastructure to get the water to you.

  • thor42

    Maori have got a bloody cheek to claim “geothermal rights”, given that it is OUR Pakeha technology that makes geothermal useful.
    I have no problem with iwi buying shares in (say) geothermal stations – no different to buying a stake in forests or whatever. But saying that Maori “own” geothermal rights is a step too far – it is BS.  

  • David

    Let them have the water, they can collect it when it hits the sea. While they are at it they can have the wind too.

    • TravisPoulson

      And then power prices go up because the power companies that put up those silly turbines get charged for the wind passing through them. The loser: all of us. 

  • Michael C

    If Maori do own water does that mean every time private land is flooded the owner can sue the tangata whenua for their water damaging his property?

    • farmboy

      we will to after taking our effluent hose’s out of the river.also sting em for a 3day holding fee

      • TravisPoulson

        In all honesty I don’t think you can charge them for an illegal activity that you have engaged in, ie: discharge of effluent into waterways. Well, I’m not sure where you’re farming, but all the regions I’ve dairy farmed in it’s zealously policed, starting with the nearest complaining sheep farmer.  

  • hang him

    If you own something you to pay the good and the bad, if maori own the water, they pay for all flood damage, mudslids, slips. could be sued for damage caused to property etc, etc. they have not thought this one though.

    • Joe Bloggs

      not forgetting leaky building issues and drought damage!

  • farmboy

    if they own the water whos going to be policing it ,and i meant a holding fee when my land floods with rain water.where i am they police by helicoter once every month or so they fly over never had a problem but attitudes would change rather quickly if we were answering to the local tribe

    • TravisPoulson

      I see your point, but I’d imagine the government would get sucked in further and give in to providing assistance via local council/government departments, you know how it goes. Give ’em an inch, they take a mile. 

      When the gravy train is chugging, one must keep shovelling coal into the firebox to maintain sufficient pressure.

      • farmboy

        well said,god where fucked if it goes there way it opens up doors to all sorts of shit,and the way our judges have been seeing things lately,im getting scared

      • TravisPoulson

        What do you expect from a justice system infested with pinko judges and jurors. 

      • gazzaw

        We know where the Supreme Court will position themselves on this. Who was it again who decided unilaterally and withour comsultation to remove our sovereign access to the Privy Council?

  • Steve and Monique

    Well I guess there is hope yet for the “act of God” clause in insurance policies. We all know exactly who to sue now//

  • LesleyNZ

    I just saw the news before. Maori are claiming water rights and that they own the water because of their Maori gods. Unbelievable – especially as the Maori iwi leaders are espousing this! Retired High Court Judge Eddie Durie is spearheading the Maori Council claim. Just nonsense.

    • TravisPoulson

      The mrs has often told me I am devoid of any emotion, but this shit makes me want to cry. 

      • Greg M

         You get that shit too Trav ? Someone please remind me who Judge Durie is married to again, Oh that’s right , shit stirrer Donna Hall.

    • Rodger T

      And yet Lesley just a few comments earlier you are claiming your god owns the water.
      Present evidence your god exists and the maori gods don`t.
      Nonsense alright.

      • LesleyNZ

        My God has a capital G. I don’t claim to own water because of my God.My God shares his water, with all of us – unconditionally. Evidence – just look around you – His creation is evidence, including water. It didn’t just happen.

      • Rodger T

        Well Lesley ,my God Thor has a hammer and your god was nailed to a cross.
        Any questions?

  • Greg M

    Back on topic, if Mr Shearer grew some balls and said ” this is bullshit” his poll results would go up ten percent overnight.

  • Steve and Monique

    Once again anouther wagon has been hitched up to the gravy train by Maori.When on this god given ball has anyone owned water.It is about time this whole treaty debacle was tossed out. Of all the ignorant/dumb/bullshit claims let loose on the public of NZ,by Maori,this one takes the cake.

    • patriot

       By my observation — maori owning water at the expense of ALL other NZers is a claim based on a Racist ideology .

      maori are PART  of NZ & share in Water as part of being a NZer — it will be WAR for anyone wanting to deprive me MY rights as a NZer , so that a  NZ claimant  can Claim a superior  right to me or any other NZer .

      The Treaty was signed in 1840 by some Tribes — there was no Treaty agreement as the 3 clauses are written differently in the English & maori versions of the Treaty.

      The signatories to the 1840 Treaty were at WAR with each other in 1860s

      The Treaty of Waitangi — is at an end , DEAD,  due to the signatories being at War with each other after the Treaty was signed by some Tribes.

      There are many Treatys  where WAR has meant a Treaty is ended — Try the 1918 Treaty of  Versailles — it is dead due to a following WAR, WW2,  and no one, now,  adheres to the clauses in that Treaty .

      Treaty of Waitangi is dead and maori water claims will bring an attitude  War against  them — time to mobilise and as NZers , tell maoris it is  ” one for all , and all for one  ”

      maori NZers  are NOT superior to  other NZers . … After all,, evidence shows maoris are decended from the Mountain peoples of Taiwan — maoris are Taiwanese Maoris.

      I am NZ born – I am an indigenous NZer with rights like any other NZ born NZer — no more – no less.

  • Cadwallader

    Water comes in three major ways…liquid, ice and vapour. If Maoris own water they also own clouds, the Arctic Circle and all the lakes rivers and oceans on the planet. The proposition of water ownership is stupid, utterly stupid! The great physicist Carl Sagan once wrote that “the glass o fwater you drink today, may well have once passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell!”

    • In Vino Veritas

      Correct Cadwallader. But then, the Maori have been able to get away with interpreting the treaty in a way that was never contemplated when it was written.

  • Chris

    If Maori own water do they own us too???

    Now let’s take a closer look at the importance of water in our own bodies. As babies we are approximately 75 to 80% water and as we grow older this percentage decreases until the percentage is reduced to approximately 60 to 65% for men and 50 to 60% for women. The human brain is about 85% water and our bones are between 10 to 15% water. The chemical structure of water H2O and both the hydrogen and oxygen have great importance as life giving properties and a preserving force to our systems.