Royalty payments and allocations of water to “Maori” provide further evidence that the Waitangi Tribunal should go, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.
A 600-page Waitangi Tribunal report on fresh water, released yesterday, turned much water policy into a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Along with the suggestion of royalty payments and allocations of water to “Maori”, the Tribunal wants to bias the Resource Management Act further in favour of Maori, and create a national water commission in co-governance with Maori.
“It has been a long-established principle of common law that nobody owns water,” Dr Brash said.
“The Waitangi Tribunal’s water recommendation once again shows why it is a divisive and destructive force in New Zealand,” Dr Brash said.
The Waitangi Tribunal was set up in 1975 as a standing commission of inquiry to make recommendations on claims brought by Maori but claims over the years became increasingly bizarre, seeking ownership of land, sea, air, and radio spectra while blaming the Government for all manner of Maori negative social indicators.
David Hone Heke Rankin, who is a direct descendant of Hone Heke, the first chief to sign the Treaty, said “the Tribunal makes up history as it goes along…. who does it help? Apart from a few elite Maori who have become millionaires from the process, there is no benefit to Maori overall.”
The recommendations are absurd. The New Zealand Maori Council, which took this claim to the Tribunal, should have provided credible evidence to justify the tribunal spending time and money on what amounts to a vexatious try-on, Dr Brash said.