This essay is about indigenous rights to fresh water. The global fresh water crisis has serious consequences for the lives of billions of people. Most are poor and live in developing countries with limited access to fresh water. Contributing to this crisis has been the process of globalisation where monetarism, free market enterprise involving the privatisation and commodification of fresh water reserves has contributed to high prices and inadequate delivery. Indigenous people around the world have expressed concerns in the form of many declarations wherein they have stated their preferences and opinions regarding the ownership of fresh water and its cultural significance. The purpose of this essay is to promote an indigenous understanding of fresh water, a perspective that could eventually lead to a better understanding of the water entitlements of Māori in this their own land of Aotearoa.

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