Key: No one owns the wind

  • 09/09/2012

Prime Minister John Key is rejecting an iwi leader's comments that Maori may have a claim to wind under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Ngapuhi elder David Rankin is representing a group of hapu which plans to take a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal over wind.

The group wants a pan-tribal body to manage shares in commercial wind-generated electricity, and to exercise a casting vote on where wind turbines can be located.

Mr Rankin says traditionally the wind was regarded as a deity in Maori society, and Maori do not consider the Crown has the right to use it without Maori consent.

He said the Maori Council's recent claim over water rights set a precedent.

However, Mr Key says he doesn't believe there's any basis to such a claim.

"My view is pretty clear: no one owns water, no one owns wind, no one owns sunlight, no one owns the sea. I could give you quite a long list if you like," he told media.

"In certain instances, in contemporary areas, there are genuine rights and interests. But overall, it's my view that those sorts of assets are there for the good of all New Zealanders and the development of the country."

Mr Key last week announced the Government will delay its partial asset sales plans and consult with iwi over a potential "shares plus" concept, which could give them rights and interests over and above those of other shareholders, in state-owned energy companies.

The decision came after the Maori Council took a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal to try to halt the initial public offering of shares in Mighty River Power.

The government plans to sell stakes of up to 49 per cent in four energy companies and Air New Zealand.

Watch Ngapuhi leader David Rankin on Firstline last week


source: newshub archive