| Latest Maori News | Friday July 20 2012 11:48
The Crown is today summing up its arguments at the urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing into a Maori Council claim for water rights.
Lawyer Kieren Raferty is leading the charge.
He says the argument comes down to the difference between Maori concepts such as Mana and Rangatiratanga - and those differ to the Pakeha concept of ownership.
He's urged the Tribunal to find another forum to work on those concepts, saying everyone seems to agree it's not about ownership in the Pakeha sense.
But the Maori Council's Manu Paul, who took the case, says that is just a distraction from the real issue - whether Maori interests in water should affect the asset sales process.
"The main issue is - do Maori have justice under the proposed model? And the answer is no."
The Crown's summing up argument is being rubbished by the Greens.
Green MP David Clendon has been listening avidly to the arguments and accuses the Crown of muddling the issue.
"They seem very reluctant to cut to the chase which is about who controls, who has decision making power, who has authority over the use of water. Their argument is semantic and I have to say the tribunal doesn't seem to be buying it."
The arguments continue today, with an urgent ruling on the asset sale side of the claim due by the end of the month.