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Urban Maori Authorities Put Litigation On Hold

28 September 2001
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Urban Maori Authorities Put Litigation On Hold

Urban Maori Authority parties involved in court action over the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission’s proposed Optimum Method of Allocation have agreed to put litigation on hold until the release of a model or models for consultation.

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (Te Ohu Kai Moana) met with representatives of Waipareira Trust, Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka and the Manukau Urban Maori Authority as part of the Commission’s dispute resolution process.

The Commission’s Dispute Resolution Working Group has since February this year been meeting with parties in attempts to resolve litigation without expensive court action. Retired High Court judge Sir Rodney Gallen is facilitating the discussions.

Te Ohu Kai Moana chief executive Robin Hapi said progress was continuing to be made. The groups agreed to put their proceedings on hold and not to reactivate them without discussing issues first with Te Ohu Kai Moana.

Mr Hapi said that, in return, Te Ohu Kai Moana agreed to participate in a working group with the UMAs over the next few weeks to further clarify their issues concerning allocation.

“Te Ohu Kai Moana is very pleased with the progress so far. Recently two Te Arawa groups – Te Kotahitanga and Te Arawa Trust Board – agreed to put litigation on hold, and that the Urban Maori Authorities have followed suit is a very positive sign,” Mr Hapi said.

Also as a sign of good faith, all of the parties have also determined to explore opportunities to produce a satisfactory result.

The chairman of Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka, Norm Dewes, said: “We have a genuine desire to see settlement among ourselves, rather than by either the courts or through legislation. To that end, Nga Maata Waka is open to exploring opportunities to resolve outstanding issues over allocation of the Maori Commercial Fisheries Assets through mediation.”

(more to follow)
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Reg Ratahi of Te Waipareira Trust in Auckland said the Waipareira Trust wants the issues resolved through discussion rather than resorting to litigation.

“We do not want to litigate any more and we’re putting that on hold with a view to talk this out. Therefore, we have agreed to suspend litigation until we’ve been briefed on possibilities over allocation. We look forward to seeing revised proposals.”

Mr Hapi thanked the two parties for their support of the dispute resolution process. “While the issue over to whom Te Ohu Kai Moana is required to allocate has been decided by the Privy Council recently, other litigation remains outstanding and needs to be dealt with.”

“There remains a long way to go, but Te Ohu Kai Moana believes this is a step in the right direction,” Mr Hapi said.

For more information, contact

Glenn Hema Inwood, Te Ohu Kai Moana communications on 021 498 010
Norm Dewes, Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka, 03 365 1499
Reg Ratahi, Waipareira Trust, 09 836 6683

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