Shane Jones channels Darryl Kerrigan

Shane Jones has been channelling Darryl Kerrigan with a message to Maori over water rights: Quote:

NZ First’s Shane Jones says Māori are “sadly mistaken”if they think the Government will hand them over any rights to the country’s freshwater supply.

The issue of Māori freshwater rights hit headlines again last year when Labour campaigned on a royalty on the commercial consumption of water, which would include working with iwi to resolve Treaty water claims.

The policy didn’t survive under the coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First but Māori, in particular the Iwi Chairs Forum (ICF) have continued to push the issue and have threatened to go back to the Supreme Court if the Government doesn’t acknowledge freshwater rights.

But Regional Economic Minister Shane Jones says the “small group of finger-pointers in the iwi community who want to open up that Pandora’s box are sadly mistaken”.

“That is never going to happen as long as we’re a part of the current government,” Jones said. End quote. 

Good stuff. Well done Shane. Quote:

Environment Minister David Parker, who drafted Labour’s water policy ahead of the election, hasn’t ruled out the issue being looked at but is not optimistic of resolving it any time soon.

“I actually don’t know whether we can resolve the water allocation issue. I hope that we can for the sake of everyone involved and for the sake of our country actually – but I don’t know. Time will tell, I’ll be trying,” he said.

Any work in that area would be led by Crown/Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis who has been clear he would consult with the ICF and other interest groups about it.

“We haven’t placed any particular deadline on ourselves to resolve that. We want to seek an outcome that is fair to all interests, including Māori interests,” Parker said.

“If these were easy problems to resolve they would have been resolved before now.”

But Jones doesn’t agree with Parker’s hope for resolution in the future, saying, Māori “fortunes are not going to turn around by feeding these obscure debates as to which fraction of the water resource has to be handed over to Ngai Tahu or other tribes”.

“That’s just not going to happen.”

Attempting to engage with Māori on the issue would be a “headbanging exercise” with every iwi in the country, he said.

“I would rather they focused on planting trees as a key step to restoring the quality of water.” End quote. 

Very good. Unequivocal, no weasel words… not going to happen. Nice to see that from a politician  it’s refreshing. The only improvement he could have made to his statements is if he added another quote from Darryl Kerrigan:

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