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Maori Fisheries Trust Annual Report

21 December 2006

Maori Fisheries Trust Annual Report

Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, has released its annual report for the year ending 30 September 2006, highlighting a successful year for the organisation.

Te Ohu Kaimoana posted a net profit after-tax of $19.9 million and approved a greater-than-expected 35 iwi as Mandated Iwi Organisations (MIOs).

Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, owned by Te Ohu Kaimoana, also had a successful year and posted a net surplus of $16.5 million.

In releasing the 2006 annual report, Chairman Shane Jones said the surplus was made on the back of interest revenue and proceeds from the sale of annual catch entitlements and recording the proportions of AFL net profit that relate to the income shares held directly by Te Ohu Kaimoana and those held in trust for iwi.

He said that Te Ohu Kaimoana exceeded its target of mandating 26 iwi organisations by September 2006 and with the cooperation of iwi has managed to put 35 through the requirements of the Maori Fisheries Act. There are now only 22 iwi to be mandated.

“Now the momentum is building and we need the help of those 22 to push through and complete allocation to each and every iwi. We didn’t spend 12 years debating the method of allocation to falter at the last hurdle,” Mr Jones said. “It is in the spirit of the Act to ensure allocation occurs as quickly as possible. I don’t believe iwi members want to see their assets languish at Te Ohu Kaimoana, which is what will happen if those iwi don’t make the effort to go through the mandating process.”

Mr Jones said the Maori fisheries assets were growing in value, and Maori’s overall investment in New Zealand commercial fishing is well over a third of the entire industry. “We are running the country’s biggest fishing company, Sealord, and we have a lot to be proud of. We have come a long way since the mid-1980s when Maori had no significant presence in the commercial fishing industry.”

While Te Ohu Kaimoana works to put valuable fishing assets in iwi hands, the organisation is continuously safeguarding the settlement and its value to Maori.

ENDS

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