National | Freshwater

PM: Government ready to kōrero with iwi about rangatiratanga over freshwater

Rangatiratanga over freshwater is one of the "harder issues" that the government has to tackle, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Te Ao political reporter Rukuwai Tipene-Allen in an interview at Waitangi today.

In a wide-ranging interview, in which issues currently affecting Māori were discussed - including Ngāpuhi treaty negotiations, Māori children's well-being and prioritising Covid-19 vaccinations for Māori - Ardern was asked about the conversations she has had with iwi leaders about the issues surrounding freshwater. The prime minister said her government is ready to have that discussion.

"There's an acknowledgement that that is one of the harder issues that we're gonna have to tackle and the fact that we've said, 'we're here to have it'. You know, that in itself is a big change, it's been off the table for a long time. So, a real acknowledgement that we're there.

"And now, it's just a matter of making sure that the parameters of what we're discussing, that we're all on that same page from the beginning and working our way through it. Taking the time to get it right."