The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, October 08, 2004

the water and the air above

theme music: anchor me (muttonbirds)

interesting piece on Nat Rad this morning - interview with a Govt lawyer about the Tuwharetoa situation (ie they were "given" the lakebed back in 1992 as part of their settlement, and are now preparing to charge for use of the water and the air above said lakebed) which basically said that all that can be done is to ask Tuwharetoa to be nice, because the law is all on their side.

which of course was totally ignored by Brash in his media work on it - it's those nutty Maoris again, demanding the air we breath and the stars and the moon.

this is not the case at all. there is a clear common law situation that the air (and in this case probably the water) above a piece of land is owned by the owner of the land. if my neighbour (a church in fact) wanted to build something that overhung my land they would need my consent and i would be entitled to charge them for this opportunity. i guess it would be up to me whether that would be a one-off or rent.

National get all uppity and try to take the moral high ground when accused of Maori bashing - if you actually look at the history of a lot of Treaty settlements the iwi involved has often been incredibly generous to the Crown and the community (the Tainui settlement comes to mind) often giving back land to DOC or the Crown when it is part of a settlement, or agreeing to radically reduce their original settlement claim, dollars wise, once it is recognised that it is a legitimate claim.

1 comment:

Greyshade said...

There was an interesting take on this on Eye to Eye this morning. A surprisingly rational and elder-statesman-like Richard Prebble (I kid you not) speculated that the claim might actually relate to structures (float plane jetties, bridges, etc) that rest on the lakebed regardless of ownership of water or airspace. If so the claim would seem very straightforward.