Taurima says Water rights similar to Foreshore and Seabed rights

By Heeni Brown

The National Māori Students Association had the opportunity to grill politicians during a political debate at their annual conference in Auckland today. 

One of the big issues discussed was the ownership of water being compared to the Foreshore Seabed.

Māori Party candidate Shane Taurima says the new foreshore seabed issue Māori are facing right now is the ownership of water.

Taurima, who is running in the race for Tāmaki Makaurau says, "The same language that was used by the Labour Party back in 2004 is the language that you are hearing right now. They are saying that everybody owns the water and that's what they said about the seabed and foreshore and that's why they put the seabed and foreshore in Crown ownership." 

Labour's Deputy leader Kelvin Davis agrees.

Davis says, "It is wrong to deny any group in society the right to go to Court to test their rights and Labour in 2004 made that mistake. People like myself, people like Peeni Henare and all the other MPs and candidates Kiritapu Allan, Willow-Jean Prime, we're determined that a foreshore and seabed never ever happens again in the Labour Party."

Mana Movement's Hone Harawira says, "It's not about Kelvin, it's about the issue, they stole our foreshore and seabed. I don't want apologies, I don't want commitments that we won't make this same mistake again. I want it back, so that your kids and your mokopuna know that they have the mana to our takutai moana back in our hands again."

Over 270 students have gathered in Auckland this week for the National Māori Students Association conference. Today they got the opportunity to grill politicians on the issue.

Massey University's Tremaine Teaukura says, "I want to vote for Labour but right now I'm not really sure."

Auckland University's Mamaeroa Merito says, "I couldn't say there was a clear winner but it was just nice to hear thoughts. To be honest I was just a little bit on the fence."

Election Day is 15 days away so Labour will be hoping the "Ardern effect" has some influence on these young voters.