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Maori split on whether they own water rights

10 Jul 12

Credit: Meridian
Maori split on whether they own water rights
Meridian's Benmore hydro station ... can Maori attach a value to the water?

While 90% of Maori don’t think state energy assets should be sold off until the Waitangi Tribunal reports on the issue, less than half believe Maori  own  water in the country’s rivers and lakes and should be able to attach a value to it.


44.4% of Maori believe, in general, that Maori own the water. However, 55.6% say they don’t own it (35.3%) or are not sure (20.4%).


The findings come from a nationwide survey of 400 Maori aged 18+ by the specialist Horizon Research Maori Panel.


Weighted, the survey has a maximum margin of error of 4.9%.


While more Maori might believe they don’t generally own water and can attach a value to it or are not sure about this, they overwhelming oppose Government plans to sell up to 49% in state-owned energy companies.


Only 8% support this, while 82.9% oppose. 7.3% are neutral and 1.8% not sure.


76% support the move by the New Zealand Maori Council and 11 other parties to take the water rights and energy issues to an urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal, which started yesterday (July 9).


68.4% also support the move to hold a referendum of registered electors on the Government’s proposal to sell 49% of shares in four energy companies and Air New Zealand. 18.8% oppose the move to force a referendum.


Contact in relation to this research and further information:


Graeme Colman


Horizon Research Limited.

Telephone: 021 84 85 76