EPISODE 43: Aotearoa

In the final installment of Water as Taonga, we visit the University of Waikato and discuss terms used in the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to Maori Water rights.

Thermal waters are found everywhere in New Zealand. From north to south there are 107 hot pools all providing a source of recreational activity and relaxation for thousands of homeys and international visitors. Thermal energy is also very important to provision of power in the country. Geothermal power provides NZ with about 13% of her electricity needs and boasts that they are the earliest users of large scale energy derived from their thermal fields. It is known as the most reliable source of energy above solar, wind and hydroelectric. What is more interesting is that Maori own and manage some of this power and additionally have claims on many lands where geothermal activity abounds. For seven weeks in Winter of 2014, we talked to key people in Aotearoa about how they lost their traditional lands. The story is not much different from that of first nations and how our ancestors were cheated out of the ownership of our traditional areas in what is now known as Canada. Treaties were negotiated here. We have eleven numbered treaties in Canada, several recent ones like James Bay and the Nisga’a treaties, and other ones in final stages of negotiation. In New Zealand they have one treaty.

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