Press Release – Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board
The Twharetoa Mori Trust Board today responded to enquiries following the release of the Governments Share Offer Document for the sale of up to 49 percent of energy provider Mighty River Power (MRP).Ngati Tuwharetoa Responds to Mighty River Power Share Offer Document
The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board today responded to enquiries following the release of the Government’s Share Offer Document for the sale of up to 49 percent of energy provider Mighty River Power (MRP).
The Chairman of the Trust Board, John Bishara, said that the Trust Board was proactively working to resolve the matter of water storage on Trust Board property (Lake Taupo and the Upper Waikato River) with MRP.
The Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board is the legal owner of Lake Taupo and the 2007 Deed between the Crown and the Board provides Tūwharetoa with the legal right to charge commercial users, such as MRP, a fee for use of its private property. Mr Bishara reiterated that “Lake Taupo is a taonga to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and has provided for our people over many generations.”
Mr Bishara said the Board and the Paramount Chief of Ngati Tūwharetoa, Te Ariki Sir Tumu te Heuheu, fully support efforts to have this matter resolved at the earliest opportunity to ensure certainty and security for all parties involved, including those New Zealanders considering investing in MRP shares. “We have a longstanding relationship with MRP and we value that relationship,” said Mr Bishara.
Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board Chief Executive Tamarapa Lloyd said that the discussions with MRP executives has been positive to date and would continue over the coming weeks. “The prospectus is correct. We are discussing an operating easement over Lake Taupo – MRP has easements over other water bodies but not Lake Taupo.”
Tūwharetoa and MRP have maintained a positive relationship with each other over the years, as well as during ongoing discussions over storage of “fuel for Mighty River Power’s commercial business”, and this good-faith should be able to bring about resolution for the benefit of future investors and the enhancement of the Waikato Hydro Scheme, Mr Lloyd said. “I’d like to acknowledge the level of commitment MRP have shown to resolving this matter during a particularly busy time for the company,” he added.