Water rights decision before Christmas

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 13:29 28/11/2012

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The hearing into the move by Maori groups to halt state asset sales until water rights are resolved has wrapped up at the High Court in Wellington with Justice Ronald Young indicating he will issue his judgement before Christmas.

The Crown completed its submissions, and the court heard closing arguments from the Crown and lawyers representing the Maori Council and Waikato River iwi this morning in a case that took only two-and-a-half days of the four set down.

Justice Young said he would "do my best" and he was "reasonably confident" of delivering a ruling before Christmas.

But he also acknowledged the near certainty of an appeal, saying he accepted he was "a bus stop on the way to the ultimate destination".

Both sides have indicated they will appeal as far as the Supreme Court if necessary.

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