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Environment Minister David Parker’s establishment of Kahui Wai Māori is just another attempt by this Labour-led Government to mislead Māori on freshwater issues, National’s Māori Development spokesperson Nuk Korako says.

“Kahui Wai Māori – the Māori Freshwater Forum is another talkfest forum that’s designed to give the appearance of engagement with Māori.

“This is going to end badly for Māori.

“On one side you have the Greens promising the Crown will engage robustly on Māori water rights and Labour is giving the appearance it’s doing something about Māori rights to water by establishing this forum.

“Meanwhile you’ve got NZ First stating unequivocally that it will not sanction Māori ownership of water.

“The Government needs to come clean to Māori. By raising false expectations, Labour is facing a new foreshore and seabed fiasco.

“Iwi have long raised concerns about water quality, how water is allocated and want their kaitiaki responsibilities better recognised.

“National believes that iwi have an important role to play in improving New Zealanders’ freshwater management as they are interested in water quality as well as economic development.

“National’s policy is that nobody owns the water. Nor is a national settlement like that achieved on fisheries appropriate. Freshwater issues, such as nutrients, sediment, E.coli and allocation vary so significantly around the country that solutions have to be worked out on a catchment by catchment basis.

“Freshwater is one of New Zealand’s most important resources and National is committed to improving how it is managed.”

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