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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  • FornaK

    Pml, when I saw this headline, I thought it was in regards to C4M’s road detour on his property!

  • Quinton Hogg

    Poroti is in Northland.

    • biscuit barrel

      yes thats right , a bit off from Maungataupere, they have a very nice falls on the Wairua River

  • RightofSingapore

    If Maori own the water, do they also get to rename it ‘H2Bro?’

    • Mikex

      Nah! no money in that. How about H2 KOha?

    • Bruno 32

      maori do not own the water.They may have a consent to use the water for a set time, for a given use, just like the rest of us.

      • johnandali

        But I believe that the local Maori tribe in Taupo gets all the fishing licence money paid by anglers on Lake Taupo. It’s something I can’t fathom, as the fish there are Rainbow Trout, and I understand that the Rainbow Trout were all imported, and that there were none in NZ at the time of the signing of the Treaty. So what’s been going on? Who made this decision? And why?

  • cows4me

    They tried that trick here several years ago with local Maori going to the press claiming they owned the water. I wrote to the paper stating this was most excellent news and could I have an address to where I could send the invoice for a washed out culvert. Strangely the issue disappeared of the radar, fancy that.

  • Big_Al

    I assume that Poroti Hapu is prepared to front up with the money required to cover the costs of extracting and processing this water that comes free to us all from out of the skies. I guess not as they prefer to take rather than give.

  • Wolfman Jack

    What are the research outcomes and statistics regarding the ‘protective’ type of taniwha and the ‘dangerous, predatory’ type? Do Maori also protect the predatory taniwha which ‘..would kidnap women to have as wives’ ? A good research project..

  • sonovaMin

    Giving maori ownership of water is actually privatising it, yet those on the far left are enthusiastically for it.
    How can you privatise the rain.

  • XCIA

    Bottled water is literally a dime a dozen these days, so why not give it an edge and value add at the same time by promoting it as from a sacred Maori source and blessed by kaumatua. Dress it up with Maori graphics and the royalties paid to the tribe are in consideration for intellectual property, not the water.

    • Effluent

      Free Taniwha in every bottle!!

  • Took the words right out of my mouth. Too lazy to do anything themselves but want to grab a cut out of someone else’s hard work

  • -D

    So, if they think exporting water is such a good idea why don’t they bottle up a few pallet loads and go flog it themselves?

    • Abjv

      I recall Dover Samuels getting mixed up with a water bottling operation a few years ago. The operation itself failed and the guarantee got called in.

  • Dave

    And I bet they would sell the water to the highest bidder Iv they could be bothered to get off their chairs, and the highest bidder might be Chinese, Korean, Japanese or even American, perhaps French, but it’s okay if Maori do it.

  • Dog Breath

    There is a huge difference between use rights and ownership that seems to get lost in water debates.