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It notes various legal backgrounds that recognize the link between culture and natural resources, in addition to citing the role they can play in managing the river as well as the impacts it may have on their lifestyle. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 4 Discussion 5 Background 5 Ownership concepts surrounding the Waikato river saga 5 Maori’s right to resources 9 Conclusion 10 Introduction The Maori community feels their interest is not catered for in the deal involving Waikato River which they feel they have ownership and guardianship rights to, based on the Treaty of Waitangi claims. This claim has been elicited by the signing of deal between the Crown and Waikato-Tanui. This paper therefore explores the case of struggles surrounding of the Waikato River which lies at the center of tribal identity and the troubles surrounding its ownership and guardianship rights. Through analysis of the competing discourses, the emerging tensions and interpretation issues are discussed in depth and on their basis, a conclusion derived. Waikato River is known as being the longest River in New Zealand. It is believed to officially start at Nukuhau close to Taupo Township and through its course it is served by various streams and smaller tributaries (Mataira, 1983). The river runs in the North West direction and goes via several forests and rural settings. Based on the activities surrounding the places it passes, it is currently affected fertilizers originating from farmlands, wastewater from industries and urban settings including those from the turbines at the electro power stations. In general, Waikato River is a vital resource to the communities and organizations surrounding and hence its usage impacts on a broad population. Logically, any issues affecting it must therefore be subject to reaction from those affected. Discussion Background The ownership concept in relation to Waikato River is one which brings together people from different backgrounds and questions their understanding of both leadership and authority in context of natural resources found within their localities. The level of emotions elicited in the quest to claim of ownership of the river cannot be best described than by the words of ‘Iwi,’ the principal negotiator for Waitangi Treaty who asserted that, “We don’t need a bloody court document to tell us we own the river, we know we do (Field notes, 2000).” It’s one that no doubt puts to battle, beliefs of a society and the Crown. This is what might be termed as a populist statement in the face of crisis. Nonetheless, it does eliminate the possibility of the communities claim for ownership being true. The concept of ownership as expressed by tribal leaders basically centered on the interests of the community. Ownership concepts surrounding the Waikato river saga Virtually each and every society has its concepts which are considered kin to the western ownership theory. Nonetheless, what one culture considers ownership is not the same as what another culture would consider as ownership. In essence, ownership concept differs from one sphere to another. According to Stokes (1994) the ownership of Waikato River within context of land claim by the locals was not a claim for exclusive right of ownership of the River but rather they primarily wanted to participate to the river’s management, within precincts of the Maori values. This view is entrenched in the words of ...Show more
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Who owns the water of Waikato River in New Zealand? Name: Institution: Date: Abstract The Maori community’s feeling of ownership or rather acting as partners in issues pertaining to Waikato River are subject to threat due to the throne’s failure to bring them aboard in signing a deal relating to the rivers usage…
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