“More evidence has emerged that ACT will be needed as a strong voice in the next government to get rid of co-government”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“National Party candidate for New Plymouth David MacLeod told 1News he did not expect National to change Te Mana o Te Wai.

“MacLeod said: ‘I don't believe there's any policy out to remove any of that – that stays put’.

“ACT has consistently said we would remove Te Mana o te Wai from resource consenting.

“At the moment, iwi and tribal elites have a right of veto over how water is used, and not just by electricity generators. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management requires Te Mana o te Wai to apply to the consenting of all projects involving freshwater management.

“Consenting is now subject to consideration of vague spiritual concepts such as mauri, or the “life-force” of water. Te Mana o te Wai has made the consenting of hydro schemes much more complex.

“It has led to water users making large one-off and on-going payments for ‘cultural monitoring’ services which do nothing for the environment but add decades of costs to consumer and business power bills.

“It reduces certainty for international investors who must now get their heads around mātauranga Māori (the body of knowledge originating from Māori ancestors, including the Māori world view and perspectives, Māori creativity and cultural practices) on top of their usual scientific expertise.

“ACT would remove Te Mana o te Wai from resource consenting. Where an iwi or hapu can demonstrate a customary right in water (such as through an existing Treaty settlement) then that right would be converted to an allocation of freshwater akin to a water permit under the RMA.

“This is a much fairer and more transparent way of recognising customary rights than giving iwi and hapu a right of veto over how water is used.

“New Zealanders are sick and tired of being divided by race. Party Vote ACT for real change to end co-governance.”

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