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Maori geothermal interests no problem for asset sales

posted Aug 29, 2012, 11:23 PM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Aug 29, 2012, 11:27 PM ]
"The issue is the fate of Maori claims to geothermal resources. [Mighty River Power] has invested heavily in geothermal generation in recent years and its privately owned competitor, Contact Energy, is also a major player in the sector"

"Unlike the hydro stations it runs on the Waikato River, most of MRP's geothermal power stations have been built in joint venture, commercial partnerships with Maori iwi incorporations, whose land sits atop the geothermal resource"

"Likewise, Contact has been nurturing its relationships with the Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi, whose paramount chief, Sir Tumu te Heu Heu, also heads the Iwi Leaders' Group on freshwater, and this week gave rare media comments supporting negotiation rather than court action to settle Maori water claims"

"Meanwhile, since 1991, the Crown has had the right to charge royalties on geothermal steam extraction, although it has not been doing so. No such similar right exists for water but the rules and practice governing geothermal resource extraction may yet prove most instructive for the progress of the MRP sale, especially if the Government sees a localised, central North Island deal as a way to allow the share float to go ahead"



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