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Reach of Te Arawa settlement unclear


Reach of Te Arawa settlement unclear

The Government needs to urgently address concerns surrounding the reach of the Te Arawa settlement, says National's Constitutional and Treaty spokesman Dr Wayne Mapp.

The Government is offering to hand over ownership of Rotorua's 14 lakes to Te Arawa only days before it will reveal its controversial plans for foreshore and seabed ownership.

"This settlement will only serve to raise Maori expectations on obtaining ownership of the foreshore and seabed," says Dr Mapp.

"On the face of it, the Te Arawa deal will go well beyond the 1992 Lake Taupo settlement with Tuwharetoa.

"Tuwharetoa agreed it would hold the Taupo lakebed 'in trust for the common use and benefit of all the peoples of New Zealand'. Yet, even with this clear caretaker mandate, important scientific research has been put on hold because of Tuwharetoa involvement.

"It appears Te Arawa won't be restricted to a caretaker role. In fact, it seems Te Arawa will have some control over the commercial development of the 14 lakes.

"The Government must assure all New Zealanders that the ownership is essentially symbolic - truly held in trust for all New Zealanders," says Dr Mapp.

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