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Fisheries report an historic advance for Maori

Fisheries report an historic advance for Maori

The presentation to the government today of The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission's proposed quota allocation model is an historic advance for Maori, says Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson.

"Reaching this moment is a huge achievement for the commission," Mr Hodgson said. "After more than a decade of debate, this commission has succeeded in developing a proposal with an unprecedented level of support amongst Maori. It has done the job the government asked it to do and we congratulate Maoridom in general and the commission in particular.

"Ensuring that the assets in the 1992 Fisheries Settlement are allocated to Maori is a very high priority for the government. Those assets hold huge promise as a source of renewed economic and social strength for Maori. The government will begin its review of the allocation model with all due care and no undue delay."

By law the government initially has 30 calendar days, from today, to review the commission's model. It must be satisfied that the model provides for an appropriate allocation of settlement assets to iwi, with ultimate benefit to all Maori. The government must also be satisfied that the allocation model is durable and fair.

In addition the government will consider whether it is satisfied that the commission has followed a sound decision-making process and will examine the draft legislation provided by the commission to see if it is suitable for introduction to Parliament.

"The government aims to introduce legislation to Parliament in the next few months, once it has an agreed allocation model," Mr Hodgson said. "We will be giving five working days' notice of our final view of the model before introducing a Bill to the House."

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