The symposium will hear from High Court judge Sir Eddie Durie - who is also a former Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal – about his ideas around water governance in the context of a Waitangi Tribunal hearing which ruled Māori had “rights akin to ownership” around water.
Allocating water resources
Chair of the symposium organising committee, University of Waikato Senior Law Lecturer Linda Te Aho, says Sir Eddie’s proposal is likely to involve an independent body to allocate water resources for the benefit of all.
It will involve a value proposition with money used to restore and rehabilitate waterways. She says the current system clearly isn’t working and adopting a Māori approach may be a way forward.
The symposium is a collaborative exercise between Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, Response Aotearoa, the School of Māori and Pacific Development, Waikato Management School and the Waikato Raupatu River Trust.
Professionals attending symposium
As well as law practitioners, the symposium will also be attended by engineers, geographers, economists, scientists and iwi leaders from around New Zealand.
Along with Sir Eddie and several university speakers, other high profile guests at the symposium include Samoa’s Head of State His Highness Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi, French climate change expert Pierre Calame, New Zealand’s first climate change ambassador Dr Adrian Macey and Dr Kapua’ala Sproat, director of the Environment Law Clinic at the University of Hawaii.
The Law, Responsibility and Governance Symposium is being held at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development at Hopuhopu from 23-25 November.