Friday, February 15, 2013

Charging for commercial use of Lake Taupo

As an Ironman entrant, you might be excused for thinking I'd be alarmed at the thought of paying $40 for the commercial use of Lake Taupo during the swim leg of Ironman New Zealand.

Well, it doesn't bother me.

The Taupo District Council charges plenty for traffic maintenance plans; and other charges for use of ratepayer-owned facilities used for the event.  When the 70.3 (half the distance) event was recently held in Auckland, Ironman organisers were again charged for many things related to commercial use of assets - roads, the events centre as a media base etc.

If a Maori tribe owns the lake, why should they be prevented from charging for commercial use of it, if Pakeha constructs do the same and no one makes a fuss?

Yes, this has come up late in the day, which is a surprise.  One hopes that race organisers (Jane Patterson and her company) had asked the Iwi if they intended to charge, and got a negative response.  I really hope this wasn't glossed over, because the warnings have been there for all to see for a year or two.  For example, last year they had to get permission to use the lake, without charge.  Now they have decided to charge.

Ironman has about two more years to go in Taupo, then the licence expires and the location is up for "tender" again.  This furore will not help Taupo keep the event in the future; and so the Iwi will probably lose in the medium term when it moves elsewhere.

But for now, it looks like a cheque will be required.  You can make an argument that no one should own a lake; and that returning it to Iwi as part of Treaty settlements was courting disaster.  That's probably true.

But it's done now and won't be reversed.

Get used to the new reality. 





13 comments:

Freddie Fleetstreet said...

Nick, they have guardianship not ownership. This is inevitable and will continue to creep up on us. No mention of the 1.6 million per year the IWI are given by the govt from our pockets. They have nil financial responsibilities in any way shape or form for their guardianship. This is taking the piss.
Sadly if the Tri company threatened to pull out the council would just pay it for them.

Nick K said...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/35767/Iwi-given-Lake-Taupo-licence-power

They have carte blanch licence to charge for commercial use. That's what they are doing.

Set up under Labour, of course.

David said...

I can't think of too many other situations where "owners" who don't actually maintain their asset or present their asset in a manner that is attractive to their customer charge purely for access while others foot the bill for maintenance or improvement. In the case of Councils, (quite apart from the costs they add in the form of consent conditions to be met)they maintain the roads, clean up afterward, mow the parks and berms, do the gardens, provide signage etc etc.
Nick, you are right about the fact that they have every right under the law to charge for use of the space occupied by the water they don't own but it just does not seem right that they provide nothing in return for the fee and just want a "share of the take"
I am wondering if the reason why Air New Zealand doesn't fly diractly over Lake Taupo is that Ngati Tuwharatoa own the airspace above the lake and would have the right to charge for commercial overflights.

Anonymous said...

They will eventually kill the goose. Even the marfia run protection with benefits whereas this is just a take.

Being half way through a musket wars book I now see what the problem is. The treaty should have been signed in about 1900. The hard part would have been finding a survivor qualified to sign it for maori.

3:16

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to think what the tribes pays in rates to the council for a property of that value!! Oh, hold on a minute...

Barry said...

The "tribe" (Stone Age!) has no REAL right to anything about the lake. Any "right" it thinks some appeasing politicians have given it should immediately be taken off it and it should be told to shove and get lost.

Barry said...

My 7.10 pm comment's end should be...shove off and get lost

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

This is a two edged sword for the IWI

The gummint should immediately charge the Iwi for all services which keep the lake clean and in good shape.

Anonymous said...

But they wont.

3:16

Blair said...

Nick, don't be silly, only white people are allowed property rights!

Judge Holden said...

Ha ha. Blair just nailed you losers to the wall with one short sentence. It's so funny when the far right pwns itself.

Barry said...

Any rights this outfit thinks it has were given to it dishonestly and immorally and corruptly. Just take them back now to correct the position

Judge Holden said...

Ok Barry, be a good nutter and explain to me how you think the initial allocation of a property right occurs on your planet.