A sensible Maori leader

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.


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  • pukakidon

    It is no secret that Ngai Tahu have been very successful in the management of their resources. I think Mark Soloman is very smart in that he sees it better to work alongside Government rather than use politically motivated radicals or greedy self motivated Mewi trying to milk the system for their own personal gain.

    • Ngai Tahu has turned a $170m settlement in 1994 into an asset base of over $800m. If Ngai Tahu’s investment gurus decide that Mighty River Power is a sound investment, it would be a strong signal to potential investors.

  • Mediaan

    Not sure. Ngai Tahu has a slightly different legal standing from most tribes I think. For some reason they are being given favourite treatment, seems to me. Maybe Tainui is getting second-favourite treatment.

    Did Ngai Tahu sign that former treaty we used to have?

    You know the one, the one that operated between some tribes and the Crown, before the majority of North Island tribes walked out on it by declaring war against the Government and the Crown in the late 19th century?

  • Michael Savage

    Um Cameron Ngai Tahu has settled its treaty claim, as has Tainui. In fact Tainui has all sorts of power over the Waikato River. Solomon was doing no more than acknowledging that Ngai Tahu are post treaty settlement.

    Solomon did not break ranks. He is wondering if Ngai Tahu’s negotiation could have been done slightly better …

    • Nice try Mickey, but Solomon has expressly said that water rights negotiations are not a barrier to asset sales proceeding.

  • Bruno 32

    Nga Tahu will soon be the largest dairy farming entity in NZ. By using their settlement capital wisely and playing the game using the same rules us white boys play,by securing water rights,discharge rights ,using the technology and farming for the future,they will become a very wealthy tribe and I hope that they spend heaps on educating their people. On the other hand we have the fat,useless,bludging,useless ,slime riddled brown slugs of the maori council spending another 400 K Of someone elses money on fuel for their gravy train. Who are the maori council ? Who pays them rates ?

  • snowy

    Mark Soloman makes his Northern counterparts look like fat gibbering monkeys ……. or in the case of Willie Jackson …….. a skinny gibbering monkey!