Lake Taupo charges

February 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Mike Watson at Dom Post reports:

The Taupo Ironman event is to go ahead after local iwi and organisers agreed to a confidential settlement.

Discussions were held all week after owners Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board sought to charge a levy for Ironman New Zealand competitors to use the lake for the swim leg of the international triathlon, to be held next weekend.

The trust board was reported to be seeking a $40 levy for each entrant, which would have netted about $58,000.

Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper said he was sickened and saddened by yesterday’s announcement. “If a charge has been set for the use of the lake I would be extremely sad; in fact, I feel sick to hear it. …

Ngati Tuwharetoa, under a revised deed of settlement signed with the Crown in 2007, are considered legal owners of the lake bed and air space above it, and have the right to license commercial users of the lake.

I’m pretty appalled myself.

I can understand the agreement Labour made in 2007 as part of a settlement that commercial users may have to pay a fee. To my mind that was intended for activities which are primarily about making a profit – say a jet ski hire operation.

But sporting events should not be treated in the same way. Charging $40 a person for swimming in the lake just goes against the grain.

If any future agreements include use of lakes, it would be highly desirable for commercial use to exclude sporting events.

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62 Responses to “Lake Taupo charges”

  1. Elaycee (4,408 comments) says:

    The biggest problem now, is that we have a precedent.

    Paying to swim in Lake Taupo.

    The horse has bolted….

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  2. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well – all I can say is you all need to thank the self depricating sickly whitey liberals for this. All those wet-behind-the-ears who went to the treaty explanation lectures and fell for the “the treaty promises us everything ” talk.

    and as Elaycee says – the precedent is now set. So get your wallets out – within a few years you will all be paying to go to the beach or to swim in any river, etc.

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  3. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    All I can suggest is that anyone who swims in Lake Taupo from now on should lower their togs and shit in it! :)

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  4. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    I wonder if the iwi will have to pay rates on the value of the lake bed?
    After all if it is being used as a business it will be treated like any other organisation?
    Won’t it?

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  5. peterwn (3,306 comments) says:

    Just another reason that the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ must not be included in any constitutional law – it would then be ‘open season’.

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  6. Fentex (1,031 comments) says:

    I don’t think it’s hypocritical of someone who often espouses the rights of owners to exploit and profit from their properties to also be upset that some choose to do so in a way that interferes and hampers a non-profit (I’m assuming the race in question is non-profit) widely sociable event.

    Acknowledging someones rights to their properties doesn’t mean one has to agree with how those rights ought be exercised.

    But to suggest on the strength of that irritation to hamstring future property owners, well, that sounds a lot like evil communist appropriation of property.

    Surely the government shouldn’t be telling people what they can and cannot do with their property? What kind of thinking is that?

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  7. duggledog (1,588 comments) says:

    This is just the start of it. Won’t be long before there’s a ticket booth at the bottom of Mt Eden, I’d put money on that.

    Couple of years ago we went to see Tane Mahuta, some Ngapuhis were sitting in a car trying to extort money from tourists – a couple of dollars to ensure their cars weren’t broken into. Our friends told them to fuck off back to Kaikohe and guess what. their car was broken into.

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  8. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Your friends should take Joe Bidens advice duggledog! :)

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  9. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    New Zealand is heading down a dangerous path.

    This will not end well.

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  10. nocommentkiwi (35 comments) says:

    It’s not really that much for the size of the event, I don’t think it would have been that much of a issue if Ironman had done the right thing from the outset and consulted with the Ngati Tuwharetoa; if the fee had been included in the original contestant costs few people would have noticed another benign transaction within the private sector.

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  11. kowtow (8,762 comments) says:

    This is not a precedent or the start of it.

    This has been going on since who ever let the Waitangi genie out of the bottle back in the ’70’s.
    Then there was Justice Cook and his principles.
    National has been at the forefront of throwing taxpayer money at Treaty settlemnets,labour not far behind. Local councils are appeasing “taniwha” all over the shop using ratepayers money.Roading contractors the same.

    We need a referendum on whether the treaty is like it was once described “a simple nullity”.
    One standard of citizenship for all New Zealanders.

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  12. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    If it is true the levy is about $40, and it seems 30-40 minutes might cover the swim course, the charge would seem to be about $1.00 a minute to swim in Lake Taupo.
    Nice return.
    What are Maori going to want for their water running through a hydro generator?

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  13. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “This will not end well.”

    Wait till we ask them for our blankets back!! :)

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  14. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    It was a specific treaty settlement. Nobody will be paying to go to the beach unless another Government is stupid enough to do the same kind of deal which would also entail doing away with the foreshore deal.

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  15. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Its already $40-$45 per day to hunt deer on Murri land and that is in accommodation paid for by the charter operator.

    Wake up to reality folks:

    Your heritage as a New Zealander has already been sold down the road to the ethnics starting with arseholes like Fat Norm, Fat Dave, Fat Jim, Fat Jenny and now Scrawny Chris!

    Get to like it or take up arms! :)

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  16. GTP (42 comments) says:

    But the Ironman brand is very much a commercial enterprise , at pushing $1k entry fee $40 is neither here nor there. The problem is with som of the less commercial events organised by clubs and inc. socities eg cross lake swims

    Where do they fit into he picture ?

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  17. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    They should have ignored the payment request; and just told participants that they could be trespassing if they walked on the lake bed.

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  18. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    *  Entries will close at 5pm – 31st December, 2012 or earlier if the maximum is reached.  Under no circumstances will any entries be accepted after this date. 

    So how does IRONMAN [Ironperson?] collect the extra fee or do they just wear it as a unforeseen running expense?

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  19. OneTrack (3,226 comments) says:

    kerching

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  20. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    It could be that there is a clause that states that the fee can be increased if another lakes fee increases Yvette! :)

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  21. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    The 2007 agreement clarifies that Ngāti Tūwharetoa owns the bed of, subsoil and space occupied by water in, and the airspace above Lake Taupō, including the Waikato River to Huka Falls and the tributaries that flow into Lake Taupō. The 2007 agreement further clarifies that Ngāti Tūwharetoa does not own the water itself (New Zealand Government, 10 September 2007. Press Release: New Deed of Settlement for Lake Taupō.).

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/nps-settlements-june09/html/page3.html

    See? – it gets funnier
    Any IRONMAN levy will be not for swimming in the Lake but occupying your body size of the space where the water is and when you stick your head above the surface, the space you use above the water.
    So sad maybe for the event.

    But it does confirm John Key’s “No one owns the water”
    Which may bode better for hydro power – depending on whether a piece of land that was river bed is something else if it is a dam or power station at the time.

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  22. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    Who knows what Tuwharetoa got, the $40 figure was just the starting point. Based on the exposure the event has got Ironman could dip into their advertising budget for any money required.

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  23. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Je suis heureux de payer la taxe si j’ai la chance de voir vos mamelons piquer dehors après un plongeon de milieu de l’hiver dans l’étang Maori Yvette. :)

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  24. infused (660 comments) says:

    I hope you all look forward to more of this. Why no govt has just told them all to get fucked is beyond me.

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  25. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Chris Finlayson doesn’t do “Get Fucked” easily infused! :)

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  26. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    Si je plonge dans le lac Taupo, au milieu de l’hiver, Johnboy, mon cœur allait s’arrêter et je voudrais aller, comme un rocher au bord du lac-lit qui Tuwharetoa propre, et vous seriez ne vois rien après la projection. :-(

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  27. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Si nous avons tous deux plongé au large du rocher et notre cœur s’est arrêté ensemble je mourrais heureuse Yvette. :)

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  28. Redbaiter (9,598 comments) says:

    “Wake up to reality folks”

    No chance of that.

    The country is full of drooling idiots, and if they get taken down by a group of political frauds posturing as “Maori” then they deserve everything that is coming to them.

    Too many of the ever lessening amount of NZers that are left in the country are complete gape jawed morons.

    Fake Maori will fuck them over and the gibbering idiot NZers will love every minute of it.

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  29. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    You are not a collector of Howie Morrison CD’s then I gather Red?

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  30. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    What I would like to know is how Tuwharetoa arrive at a figure as to what the space displaced by one human body is worth for 30 minutes. What then of the Barbary, the sightseeing yacht, which takes you for a trip about six times the duration an IRONperson flounders in the lake?

    Mind you, how long has IRONMAN been at the Lake – 2005 at least
    See – it was customary that Titiwhai lead a Prime Minister onto the marae for Waitangi, so has IRONMAN being not paying a fee long enough for non-payment be a customary right?

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  31. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Yvette. If you wish to do further, more accurate, research on the displacement of one or two human bodies I am of course always available mon cherie! :)

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  32. Fox (206 comments) says:

    Under the revised 2007 settlement between Ngati Tuwharetoa and the Crown, the trust board is recognised as the legal owner of Lake Taupo, and has the right to license commercial users of the lake.

    After ratification of the deed, the Crown paid the board a one-off $9.85 million, and agreed to an annual payment of $1.5m. The iwi also receives a share of fishing licence fees every year.

    So as taxpayers we are already paying swimming fees to the tune of $1.5 million a year. The poor Ironman contestants are effectively being charged twice.

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  33. Yvette (2,847 comments) says:

    Vous pourriez être heureux, Johnboy – Je voudrais cependant être mort et au fond du lac Tuwharetoa

    You should be using English – it is only polite here
    And it is time we charge Tuwharetoa and their cuzzies for using our joint heritage alphabet – that could return more than a dip in the lake fee.

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  34. Manolo (14,055 comments) says:

    Why is anybody surprised by the Stone Ager’s rapacity?

    Par for the course for the greedy tribes, which are used to freebies, easy money, treaty payments, compensation and all sort of “special” arrangements. Just ask Chris Finlayson, an expert on this matter.

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  35. TheContrarian (1,091 comments) says:

    “the lake bed and air space above it”

    I can understand the ownership of land (be it a lake bed or front lawn) but I don’t understand the ownership of airspace?

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  36. Paul G. Buchanan (294 comments) says:

    Having done a few IMs in a past life, including the Taupo race, let me try to clarify some issues. First, for the uninformed: the swim leg is 3.8k. The elite males do it in around 50 minutes, elite females a couple of minutes slower (which mixes them with the male pros). The bulk of age groupers tend to do it between 60-90 min, with some going the full 2 hours to cut-off time.

    In countries that stage IM races that have indigenous or other local claims on parts of the course, there are financial accommodations made. This includes the famous Kona world championship course. Ironman has grown into a corporation that runs dozens of half and full distance races for profit under the IM logo. It has steadily increased its entry fees while broadening the qualifying standards to generate more participation and hence revenue. It pays fees to local governments, police and traffic agencies in order to close parts of the course in order to run the race.

    Although I strongly disagree with the notion of iwi ownership of the lake, and think a swimming charge is bogus, the hard fact is that this charge could and should have been negotiated well in advance of the race and incorporated into the entry fee just like anywhere else. it seems that in this case the local iwi and the IM corporation (or IMG, which handles aspects of the IMNZ race) did not reach agreement in advance so Tuwharetoa played its trump card a week out from the start.

    I would have told them to piss off and enjoyed the protest, should it have materialized, at the 7AM start next Saturday. That way the iwi resolve could be tested and if proven strong, set the stage for negotiations about next year. There is no way any protest would have stopped the race, in part because a haka done by 30 flabby people would not be able to resist the surge of 1500 lean mean enduro machines looking to hit the water.

    This is a simple commercial dispute, and I would reckon that Tuwharetoa settled for $5-10/head. That way entry fees do not rise too much and they get a rightful (under the law) slice of the IM pie. One would hope that the IM corp or IMG would have extracted a few course monitors and race officials in the deal, because if my memory serves me correctly I never once saw a member of that iwi doing anything but spectate on the day, although there were plenty of senior tribe members at the awards ceremony and banquet.

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  37. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Where in the Treaty of Waitangi does it say Maori own Lake Taupo?

    I can see this in the second article:
    “Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession

    But it doesn’t mention specifics.

    Is the problem that Lake Taupo was never bought? But then who is to say that it ever belonged to Maori in the first place?

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  38. tvb (4,508 comments) says:

    Let them charge. If people are using the Lake for commercial purposes then they have every right to be charged. Do not confuse that with people who use for it purely recreational purposes. That should be free.

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  39. Redbaiter (9,598 comments) says:

    ” Let them charge. ”

    See what I was talking about? (at 2:34pm)

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  40. big bruv (14,148 comments) says:

    The issue is not that the Murri are charging people, as true right wingers we should defend property rights. If it belongs to them then we just have to suck it up and pay whatever the property owners ask or take our business elsewhere.

    The issue is that some stupid wanker decided to give it away in the first place.

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  41. wreck1080 (3,959 comments) says:

    this is what happen when the maoris get control — they charge the shit out of it.

    58 grand is a new holden for one of the local kings.

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  42. Bunny Will Sillyams (1 comment) says:

    Fox beat me to it. But I think that Fox has understated the extent of a massive problem here that needs thorough investigation.

    What are we paying $1.5 million to the iwi for, if not for the right to use the lake.

    No-one has the right to charge rental for something that we have already rented once already.

    This is theft. It is extortion. It is probably fraud. It is certainly duplicitous. I bet it is illegal.

    Bet it wouldn’t stand up in Court. The nearly $10 million was for past un-recompensed usage. So the ongoing $1.5 pa must be for current usage. Time for a Parliamentary question from any politician who cares if one can be found (which probably there won’t be).

    Don’t get me started on what John Ansell has to say about this (except to say that the ad-man John Ansell has also found a way to make a massive profit from it).

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  43. Steve (North Shore) (4,588 comments) says:

    This is just the begining of the extortion.

    Forget Lake Taupo, thats just Ngati Tuwharetoa doing some arm wrestling.

    I like to go boating/fishing. How long before the local Moariafia will charge for using the area inside the 12 mile limit?

    Think a bit more, let’s hope/say the Americas Cup comes back to NZ. How much will these fucking savages extort then?

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, just fuck off. National need to HTFU

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  44. big bruv (14,148 comments) says:

    It’s all very well pissing and moaning Steve but if a party came along with the stated intention of repealing all the treaty legislation you just know that not enough Kiwis would vote for them to be in a position to influence the government.

    That means that you (and me) had better get used to the idea of bowing down to the Murri people, there is a very real chance that the gweens will be a big part of the next government and you just know that they will give the Murris everything they ever wanted (and more).

    Expect to pay to visit the beach
    Expect to have your kids taught Murri in schools (irrespective of your wishes)
    Expect Murri to get the pension at an earlier age
    Expect your taxs to go up substantially and for that money to go directly to the Murris
    Expect the treaty settlements to be ongoing.
    Expect our history to be rewritten to paint Murri as peace loving and tender people before the arrival of the white devil
    Expect “positive” discrimination laws to be passed in favour of Murri
    Expect hate speech legislation to be passed meaning you cannot say anything negative about Murri even if it is the truth
    Expect the name of our country to be changed to ayotearower
    Expect that you will not be able to do anything in this country without first discussing it with Murri.

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  45. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    I’m really in two minds about this. The competitors pay about $800 IIRC, and there’s probably $1 million+ revenue for the organisers.
    I don’t see how they can’t be considered commercial operators benefiting financially from the use of the lake.
    The council are surely charging for using the roads and public spaces?

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  46. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Heh..stupid nz’ers , you aint seen nothing yet…your apathy is coming back to bite you in the arse.

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  47. Akld Commercial Lawyer (166 comments) says:

    Hmmm, may I suggest that both the good mayor and DPF might have jumped the gun ever so slightly here. As a starter for ten, Ironman is a major international franchise (a good one) that runs highly successful events around the globe on a “for profit” basis. In NZ it is owned and run by IMG – one of the most successful event brands on the planet. A relevant benchmark is one of our own most iconic sporting events, the (fantastic) Coast to Coast, which takes place under a concession from DoC that enables it to use the DoC estate. As taxpayers, we should be pleased that this concession wasn’t a freebie. Similarly, all manner of owners of “public” facilities charge for the use of their parks, reserves and facilities – as a means of recouping the costs that they incur for the use of those facilities by events. Often, there is a 2-tier tariff depending on whether it is a commercial venture or a not-for-profit. I don’t see any suggestion here that iwi are about to start charging for people to run a kindy fundraiser. Others will have a more informed view of the quantum of the fee in this case. Presumably, if it had been too steep, Ironman would be looking to locate elsewhere. Here’s hoping they don’t because its a great event. But where is the good grace to concede that, in this case, the negotiation has reached a commercial settlement that was acceptable to two (no doubt) well-advised commercial parties?

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  48. Nick K (1,257 comments) says:

    As an Ironman entrant, you might be excused for thinking I’d be alarmed at the thought of paying $40 for the commercial use of Lake Taupo during the swim leg of Ironman New Zealand. But it doesn’t bother me.

    As has been pointed out by Paul Buchanan, the Taupo District Council charges plenty for traffic maintenance plans; and other charges for use of ratepayer-owned facilities used for the event. There is a hefty charge for use of the Events Centre and the Domain where the transitions are. When the 70.3 (half the distance) event was recently held in Auckland, Ironman organisers were again charged for many things related to commercial use of assets – roads, the events centre as a media base etc.

    If a Maori tribe owns the lake, why should they be prevented from charging for commercial use of it, if Pakeha constructs do the same and no one makes a fuss?

    Yes, this did come up late in the day, which was surprising. One hopes that race organisers (Jane Patterson and her company) had asked the Iwi if they intended to charge, and got a negative response. I really hope this wasn’t glossed over, because the warnings have been there for all to see for a year or two. For example, last year they had to get permission to use the lake, without charge. Now they have decided to charge.

    Ironman has about two more years to go in Taupo, then the licence expires and the location is up for “tender” again. This furore will not help Taupo keep the event in the future; and so the Iwi will probably lose in the medium term when it moves elsewhere.

    You can make an argument that no one should own a lake; and that returning it to Iwi as part of Treaty settlements was courting disaster. That’s probably true. But it’s done now and won’t be reversed. It was given back under a National government, although Labour did grant them licence rights in 2007.

    As Big Bruv says, the issue is not that the Murri are charging people, as true right wingers we should defend property rights. If it belongs to them then we just have to suck it up and pay whatever the property owners ask or take our business elsewhere.

    The issue is that some stupid wanker decided to give it away in the first place.

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  49. Mark (1,491 comments) says:

    I am just waiting to have to pay maori a royalty on water. If that is the case fuck them i will drink my scotch neat

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  50. landoftime (36 comments) says:

    Love the way lots of people have gone off on tangents. The horse has bolted – blah, blah, blah. So Ngati Tuwharetoa, who had their rights taken away in the first place for hundreds of years, are not allowed to charge for use THEIR lake for a commercial sporting competition? The Ironman has millions of dollars of sponsorship and is a televised event. I love the way that Maori get trampled on and then are just expected to lie down and accept it. Why should all the money go to Ironman and the local iwi not get a cent? Why is it that every other bugger is allowed to charge for everything but the minute Maori do it then they are difficult? That’s the racist part right there.

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  51. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    DPF –

    I’m pretty appalled myself

    Why? The party you support is committed to installing racial separatism in our constitution, so Iwi establishing their own tax structure is to be expected.

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  52. Redbaiter (9,598 comments) says:

    I have to laugh at the way fake right wingers, progressives and liberals pervert the idea of “property rights” to their own purposes when it suits them.

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  53. Cricklewood (21 comments) says:

    I’m fairly comfortable with it, Ironman is a commercial organization set up to make profit (hence the huge entrance fees) why should they be able to use a resource to generate said profit without paying a fee to the owner of said resource?

    Surely it is up to the owner to decide whether it is worthwhile to charge a fee to Ironman and have them decide it’s no longer economical to run the event in Taupo. Or to let them use it free of charge and garner monies through having interests in things that attract money spent by competitors or support crew etc. For example hotel nights.
    It’s there choice to make and the way I see it little different to the Hobbit shenanigans we negotiated a price that was palatable for Warners but still gave a return to NZ. Very little difference in this situation I feel and it is up to the parties involved to come up with a mutually acceptable arrangement (or not).

    As far as I can see there are no restrictions on me stopping on the way past on a hot day and jumping in for a quick swim…

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  54. rg (214 comments) says:

    The issue is whether Maori by owning the lake bed can charge for use of the water that sits on it. Any property owner with a river on the boundary and riperian rights owns the river bed to halfway. If the river runs through a property the property owns the entire river bed the length of the property.
    So the question is can they then assert ownership over the water that flows over it and charge people who want to kayak on it, or exlude them. I suggest that they could not and equaly Maori could not have charged for use of the lake.

    If it was me I would have run the event and challenged the claim of ownership, the courts would have settled it. (if the Maori had pursued them for payment)
    Too many wimpy people in NZ who are scared of the Maoris.

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  55. itstricky (1,881 comments) says:

    Hmm, yes, and if Ironman doesn’t like it – Ironman will move. It’s all a free market, right?

    DPF – I’ve no idea, by your own logic, why you are appalled. Maybe you’d didn’t do your home work. Maybe deliberately, perhaps, given how much you go on about others doing their homework? Maybe because you got a good few nibbles and a couple of big bites to start with. Fear and loathing abound…

    Especially foreshore and seabed fear, when you deliberately have a sentence starting Charging $40 a person for swimming in the lake which is clearly different from charging a commercial entity for use of one’s property.

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  56. Sofia (866 comments) says:

    rg – specifically Ngāti Tūwharetoa are charging for the use of the space occupied by water and the airspace above Lake Taupō, as displaced by a swimmer.
    Any court case is likely to support what is an agreement between the Crown and iwi – it’s not a claim but already a settlement

    see above – February 23rd, 2013 at 2:18 pm –

    The 2007 agreement clarifies that Ngāti Tūwharetoa owns the bed of, subsoil and space occupied by water in, and the airspace above Lake Taupō, including the Waikato River to Huka Falls and the tributaries that flow into Lake Taupō. The 2007 agreement further clarifies that Ngāti Tūwharetoa does not own the water itself (New Zealand Government, 10 September 2007. Press Release: New Deed of Settlement for Lake Taupō.
    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/nps-settlements-june09/html/page3.html

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  57. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Taupo Ironman is for profit. I’ve met the people who run it.

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  58. david (2,563 comments) says:

    How high is the airspace owned.? Does Air New Zealand have to fly round Taupo Lake to avoid paying for the right to overfly? So many questions.

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  59. wrightingright (145 comments) says:

    this is ridiculous, the past governments have given away far too much for far too little in return (or often nothing at all!)

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  60. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    Property rights apply to brown people too. Suck it up folks. There are plenty of lakes in New Zealand.

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  61. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    I have to agree with Fentex, DPF, that I am a little bit appalled that these comments are coming from someone who so often advocates for the rights of owners to exploit profit from their properties.

    Also, the ironman is very much a commercial operation.

    I’m curious as to whether the same fervor would be aroused if it were a creek/lake on a farmers land??

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  62. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    No David Air NZ does not have to fly around lake Taupo just like they don’t have to fly around your family home.

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