Idiot/Savant blogs at NRT:
The Māori Party finally met with John Key last night to discuss his stupidity over water rights, and walked away with an assurance that the government will not legislate to overturn any court decision. In some quarters, this is being portrayed as another sell-out. It’s not. Instead, its a pretty useful victory, which resolves one of the primary fears around the Tribunal / court process: that the government will ignore the outcome, and simply confiscate the water on terms favourable to itself and its cronies if they don’t like how things are going. Now, if they keep their word, they won’t be able to do that, and will have to negotiate like a proper Treaty partner should. And that I think is exactly what the Māori Party is there to do.
While I don’t think National would ever have been stupid enough to repeat Labour’s folly of overturning court upheld property rights by legislation, it is indeed a useful thing for the Maori Party to have had it explicitly ruled out.
It doesn’t mean that the Government has to follow the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal. It does mean though if an actual court makes a finding about property rights in water, then the Government won’t confiscate those property rights legislatively.