Waitangi Tribunal slams Crown over freshwater failures

Posted 03/09/2019

Source: RNZ


The Waitangi Tribunal is slamming the Crown for letting rivers and lakes get so polluted and for essentially blocking Māori from helping to fix the problem.

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The tribunal released a landmark report tonight into National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources that highlights a series of failures in the Resource Management Act.

Presiding officer Chief Judge Wilson Isaac said the Act and subsequent freshwater management policies had failed to meet the Treaty of Waitangi standard of active protection.

"The RMA has allowed a serious degradation of water quality to occur in many ancestral water bodies, which are now in a highly vulnerable state," he said.

He also said the Act did not provide adequately for the tino rangatiratanga and the kaitiakitanga of iwi and hapū over their freshwater tāonga.

The tribunal is calling for sweeping changes, including recognising Māori proprietary rights.


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