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Maori Council to boycott Government over water

Published: 6:36PM Saturday September 15, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Maori Council has voted to boycott the Government until Prime Minister John Key agrees to discuss the issue of water rights with all iwi.

The council is meeting over the weekend, and this afternoon voted to back a resolution from the Maori king's hui on Thursday.

The council has called for a halt to the sale of power company shares until a framework is put in place to recognise Maori proprietary water rights.

The Maori Council is hoping it will not have to take the Government to court over the issue.

Earlier this month the Government announced it would delay the sale of up to 49% of Mighty River Power until next year.

It will now take a five week consultation period to meet with iwi with direct interests in the water used by the state-owned water company.

The Government also plans to sell a similar stake in several other state-owned power firms.

On Friday, Key repeated the Government's position that "no one owns water".

Rahui Katene urged the Government to enter into talks about Maori water rights.

"All we want to do is sit down and talk about what those Maori propriety rights are and to come up with the frameworks so that Government can go into negotiations," she said.

On Sunday the Maori Council will decide who it will nominate for the Maori water rights task force and there will be more discussions on the water claim.

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