Any minute now a taniwha is going to turn up

A Whangarei hapū are angry over sale of Porotī spring water to China:

While the ownership of water is yet to be determined, local government is allowing it to be sold commercially overseas.

That is why local hapū are up in arms over an Auckland-based company selling water from Poroti Springs to China.

Poroti hapū are angry that Auckland-based Company Zodiac Holdings Limited has been given the go ahead to sell their water supply.

So a New Zealand company, owned by a New Zealander (see company office), is exporting to China and local Maori are angry.

“Now Zodiac have up to two and a half cubic metres a day and they want to sell it to China so we don’t get ten cents and there’s no revenue whatsoever for our hapū.  Not that we want to sell the water but we just want to participate and share.  We actually have to pay for our own water,” says Ruka.

So the truth comes out; the local Hapu want a cut because the water is in their whenua.

Ruka says, “Since 1885 our water has been gazetted as a Māori water supply for our hapū of Poroti and all the water omits from there and yet everybody else is taking the water.”

While customary rights to water are still yet to be determined, commercial interests are being given rights to sell the resource overseas.

Customary rights have not been determined, the hapu have a right (but not exclusive right) to draw on the water for their own use, and since 1885 the Hapu “have always been kept on the outer as far as the management and control of the resource.”

This is a clear grab for money with a populist xenophobic twist to it. How dare they sell this water to China! Really though, is the problem for them the water being sold to China or the fact they don’t get a cut? It sounds like it is the second. They want money, they want to be recognised as the owners of the water and they want to be able to exclude people who don’t pay them for the right to draw that water.

Most New Zealanders don’t want this.

This is why we are so reluctant to enter into the debate of who owns the water. As soon as we concede someone owns it, we’ll start having the water given away from underneath us with Treaty settlements and other claims.

Around the world the left-wing is terrified of big corporations privatising water sources and turning water into a commodity. Here in New Zealand though they seem happy to turn a blind eye as the same thing happens here, except here we might just give it away.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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