Eric Short: Water rights impinge on land rights

Wednesday July 08, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

I have just found out that the To Tatou Vai Bill is to be read in Parliament.

The bill is about water rights, but it is also about land rights.

Landowners have been in discussion with the Crown about Te Mato Vai since 2014.

Te Mato Vai has now been built on landowners land. The new water authority requires access to landowner land. The Landowners have yet to agree on access rights.

The Bill will give To Tatou Vai ownership of our valleys, our resources, our water. But this is not the government’s land and this is not the government’s water.

If the To Tatou Vai Bill is passed, where do we stand?

Eric Short, 
Takau Rangatira,
Ngati Pa, Takitumu

2 comments

  • Comment Link Wayne Mitchell Thursday, 09 July 2020 14:21 posted by Wayne Mitchell

    This is what I have been alluding to for 5 years now with people, (landowners & non landowners) , sympathetic but not fully appreciative of the ramifications of the little seemingly harmless laws the Governments of the day past and present have passed with little to no due diligence by the opposition past & present and the indigenous peoples concerned.
    Typical response?
    It must be alright because the Government says so, and they are there to be looking after us.
    Little by little, but by bit they the Government takes our rights away as people indigenous to the Cook Islands, the caretakers of the Islands.
    Question, is the law there that after one to two feet depth in the soil that the Government the crown owns it?

  • Comment Link Paremata Macpherson Thursday, 09 July 2020 12:03 posted by Paremata Macpherson

    Also it is about the peoples right to the water
    Is the government from the beginning was set to put tariff on Rarotongas water..??
    It appears the future of our paradise people , landowners will be having waterbills very soon..
    Living oversease for a while and returning you can tell that life will in Rarotonga be the same as in overseas you pay land rates , water rates my ? is the island financially capable to survive to pay the additional cost of life ?
    Where do we stand ?

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