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Changes allow Fisheries Settlement Return

PRESS RELEASE

24 July 2006

Ngati Kahungunu iwi members voted with a resounding yes to constitutional changes that will allow the fisheries settlement assets to be returned to the Iwi by October this year. At a hui at Te Hauke, 200 people gathered to discuss and vote on the issue while 1100 votes were received by post. 93% of voters were in favour.

One of the contentious issues in the constitutional changes was the ability of Rongomaiwahine to withdraw from Kahungunu and receive their asset separately. However, settlement was reached after 12 months of negotiation which was signed off the previous day, and agreed to by the majority of hui participants. Rongomaiwahine and Kahungunu will work together to ensure the settlement will be enduring.

There were ructions that further litigation could ensue but the Chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana says he is pleased that after 20 years of litigation, the Iwi can now progress to wider issues in the pursuit of key social, economic, cultural and political goals.

The mood of the hui was to keep unified so that our ambitions for our tamariki and mokopuna would be realized a lot quicker. One of those goals is to establish a Kahungunu Violence-Free strategy, a Kahungunu Smokefree strategy and a Cultural Excellence strategy. We can only achieve these if we remain united in our intent, although we may have our own expressions of delivery.

ENDS

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