Hui on water rights underway on Marae alongside historic Waikato RiverBy Alan Tristram
There’s been a good turnout for the historic national Māori hui on water rights on the Turangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia, alongside the Waikato River.
The hui’s been called by the Māori King, Tuheitia.
It was prompted by the Government’s decision to speak to selected iwi separately, ahead of its partial sale of state-owned energy company Mighty River Power.
Hundreds of people representing most iwi have been welcomed onto the marae, including Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, MPs from the Labour and Green parties, iwi leaders, the Maori Council and ordinary people, both Maori and Pakeha.
Prime Minister Key has told National MP’s, including National Maori MP’s, they should not attend.
Today’s ceremonies will end with summaries of all the viewpoints on water rights — and a speech from the Maori king. The Maori leaders will begin their main session tomorrow.
Dr Sharples says the great turnout shows that Maori want a unified solution and are expecting a good outcome.