The Te Mana o te Wai Fund was announced as part of Budget 2014 in partnership with the Māori Party, and provides $5 million over two years. It will support restoration initiatives such as riparian planting, projects to reduce nitrate levels, and community-run water restoration efforts for local waterways.
Applications for a new Government fund aimed at helping iwi to improve the quality of their local freshwater bodies are now open, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell announced today. “The Te Mana o te Wai Fund recognises the special relationship that iwi have with their local waterways. This contestable funding will help iwi to work together with the wider community to improve and restore the quality of freshwater in their regions,” Dr Smith says. “The Government believes iwi and hapū have an important role to play as active partners in improving our country’s freshwater, and that partnership and collaboration is key in ensuring positive and lasting gains,” Dr Smith says.
“As the Minister of Maori Development, I welcome this opportunity for hapū and iwi to be able to continue to support their role as kaitaki and in doing so, provide for their whānau,” Mr Flavell says. “The basis of Te Mana o Te Wai is that healthy waterways support healthy environments, which in turn supports healthy whānau. With this in mind, hapū and iwi are able to express their aspirations for freshwater quality and we welcome the opportunity for this to occur.”
And what “special relationship does “iwi” have with waterways above and beyond that of every other NZer? This is such dangerous racist language.
There is not one good reason for Smith to be dolling out $5 million of taxpayers money under these farcical circumstances. When we’re struggling under the burden of $60 billion dollars worth of debt. NZ so badly needs a party that will fight this racist cronyism. Especially the idea that one race is special. Haven’t we learned anything from history?