Māori council member calls for national Māori Water Commission

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

NZ Māori Council member Maanu Paul is calling for the establishment of a national Māori Freshwater Commission. Maanu Paul made his submission at the National Freshwater & Geothermal Resources Inquiry Waitangi Tribunal hearing taking place at Ohope.

Paul has returned to the Waitangi Tribunal to push his call for a national Māori Water Commission.

"We want the Māori Water Commission to manage the water, establish legislation and costs for the use of the water, as well as cleaning the water," he said.

This is Paul's second submission to strengthen his claim on behalf of all Māori for customary rights to the country's foreshore and seabed. He wants Iwi leader forums and urban authorities to be included on the commission.

"We should pull the licences granted to water bottling factories and the like, orchards spraying with water, all farmers and big corporations." 

Claimants have come from around the country to present at the hearing over the last four days. 

Lake Horowhenua campaigner and claimant Phil Taueki says he's here representing his tribe of Muaūpoko.

"I'm here on behalf of my ancestors, who fought for our rights, paid for our rights in blood. I'll be asking for remedies as to how we are going to address the disgusting state that our privately owned lake is in, due to its abuse by local government putting storm water and sewage into our lake," said Taueki.

The last day of the hearing is tomorrow. Manu Paul will address the tribunal again in December.