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ACT Supports Iwi Claim

ACT Supports Iwi Claim -- Gerry Eckhoff

ACT Supports Iwi Claim

Thursday 17 Apr 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

ACT New Zealand Fisheries Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today supported Hawkes Bay iwi Ngati Kahungunu's calls for Maori ownership of up to 50 percent of New Zealand's coastal waters - so long as that ownership is for individual Maori, not the wider iwi.

"While supporting their call, I believe that ownership be for individual Maori, not just the wider commercial iwi concept that is responsible for neglect and lack of investment in their own lands," Mr Eckhoff said.

"This arrangement should not, however, be to the detriment of the wider community. Traditional recreational areas - such as the Marlborough Sound - should be identified, and set aside for continuance of public use and enjoyment. That said, however, the principal of private ownership and investment, to ensure recovery of our severely depleted coastal waters, should be encouraged.

"Private ownership meets all Government requirements of sustainable development and environmental protection, as well as giving surety to marine farmers.

"The Government now has an opportunity to give real meaning to the Treaty of Waitangi, which guaranteed Maori continuing use of their traditional fishing grounds. Maori could then lease back to various interest groups if they so choose.

"Meanwhile, the other 50 percent - minus specified recreational areas - will continue to be subject to overuse, abuse and unsustainable practice, unless the principles of private ownership, which guarantee sustainability, are applied to this area as well" Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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