The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group will attend Thursday's national hui on water rights and the sale of state-owned assets.



After the hui, called by Kingi Tuheitia, the Ngai Tahu, Whanganui, Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa and Tuwharetoa leaders will meet on Friday to report to the National Iwi Chairs Forum - a group of 64 iwi leaders from throughout Aotearoa who meet regularly to share knowledge.



Group chairman Sir Tumu te Heuheu (Tuwharetoa) said the two hui were important to the ongoing work of the group and its engagement with the Crown.



"The national hui called by Kingi Tuheitia will provide the opportunity for the Iwi Leaders Group to clarify its role with the wider motu before reporting to the Iwi Chairs Forum the next day."

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Sir Tumu said the group was formed in 2007 to advance the interests of all iwi in relation to fresh water through direct engagement with the Crown.



The focus from the outset had been on dialogue with the Crown in the context of its review of the freshwater management regime.



"Iwi have made it clear their rights, interests and responsibilities in relation to water demand recognition in a substantive and meaningful way," said Sir Tumu.



"That requires engaging on a range of issues that go far beyond the current Crown proposals in relation to the sale of shares in MOM companies.



"The Iwi Leaders Group has never sought to usurp the right of individual groups to progress their issues in whatever forum they choose.



"Rather, we have been clear that our engagement with the Crown is directed at two important matters.



"First, ensuring that the long-term health and well-being of our waterways is at the forefront of any new freshwater framework and, secondly, ensuring that such framework fairly recognises and provides for iwi rights and interests within every catchment."



The group consists of Sir Tumu, Mark Solomon (Ngai Tahu), Toby Curtis (Te Arawa), Tom Roa (Waikato-Tainui) and Brendon Puketapu (Whanganui).

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