No-one owns water, we all own the water

Maori are doing us all a big favour. Putting aside for one moment the rights and wrongs of the Government’s partial state assets sales plan, as a nation we may yet come to regard indigenous claims over water ownership and rights with some gratitude.

For, if nothing else, Maori interests and determination that rights issues must be addressed before asset sales proceed ought to tell us that this is a precious resource. And that we need to wake up and get with the programme.

We shouldn’t have to be told, of course, but probably because water has always been abundant and free, and because most of us urban-dwellers are still relatively untouched by either shortage or quality decline, we continue to take plenitude for granted. Read more


Simon Cunliffe, a West Coaster by birth, was awarded best columnist at the 2012 Canon Media Awards.

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News category: Analysis and Comment.

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