Resolving the question of rights and interests in water remains difficult because water is a resource that is essential for our economic, environmental, cultural and social well-being and a number of different stakeholders claim rights to water, each with potentially competing interests. The Land and Water Forum highlighted the need for a resolution to this question, and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management requires local authorities to engage with iwi around managing water resources. Clearly the Treaty of Waitangi and the implications of tino rangatiratanga are critical to any discussion. Additionally some political parties have indicated a need resource rentals to be paid for water that is extracted from the environment. These matters have considerable implications for water suppliers who it seems have been absent from the debate. Water suppliers will benefit from understanding the issues if they are to negotiate changes to the circumstances that their activities depend on.