The government might have to consider another delay in the Mighty River Power share sale, an iwi leader involved in water rights negotiations says.
A national hui on Thursday decided water rights must be defined and recognised before any state-owned energy company is partially privatised, and the Maori Council is going to appoint a negotiating team.
The government hasn't reacted to the hui's resolution and there's no indication it will change its plan to hold five weeks of negotiations with iwi leaders.
It delayed the Mighty River Power share sale until March next year so it could do that, and has said it won't put it off again.
The focus has shifted to the Iwi Leaders Group, which the government talks to about water rights.
It is holding a meeting on Friday to discuss the hui outcome.
Te Arawa representative Toby Curtis say it's going to take time to work through the issues raised by the hui.
"Everyone will give it their best shot, but if the government is sincere and accepts that it needs to work closely with Maori they may have to rethink their timeframe," he said on Radio New Zealand.
"This just isn't going to happen in weeks or months."
The government isn't talking to the Maori Council, which is threatening to seek a High Court injunction to stop asset sales, and intends continuing to deal with water rights on a case-by-case basis negotiated with individual iwi.After its meeting on Friday the Iwi Leaders Group will report to the Iwi Chairs Forum, and then wait to be told how it should proceed.
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