Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is accusing northern iwi leaders of selling out Māori by voting for ideologically-driven court cases rather than practical steps to increase water supply.
“I just think that iwi leaders who think that water issues are going to be solved by perpetually fighting in the courts are selling our own people out,” he said.
“At a time of adversity based on climate change we need new thinking, not this dogmatic, doctrinaire thinking that the Court of Appeal is the answer to all water remedies that afflict Māoridom and I am very disappointed the three northern iwi voted against some pragmatic way forward.”
The Iwi Leaders Forum this month voted down a proposal for litigation over water to be set aside while iwi work with the Coalition Government on water storage and allocation.
Officials are looking at whether Kaikohe could draw water from Lake Omapere to relieve its water shortage.