The Waitangi Tribunal met for two weeks to discuss Maori water rights. The Tribunal gave an interim report because the full report would not be available until September. The interim report asked the government to postpone the sale of Mighty River Power in the meantime.
The Maori Council believes that the Treaty of Waitangi gave Maori ownership rights to fresh water. The Labour MP, Shane Jones, said that Maori had always been quite happy to share their water rights with all New Zealanders while hydro-electric companies were public. However, if the government was planning to sell some of the hydro-electric shares to private owners, this was different.
The Prime Minister is keeping quiet at the moment about what the government will do except he said he will discuss this matter with the Maori Party in Parliament. The sale of state assets is a very important part of the government’s plan for the economy.
interim – temporary until the main report is finished
postpone – delay
in the meantime – the time between two events
at the moment – now
assets – companies that the government owns