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Horomia - Consultation process to continue

17 December 2003 Media Statement

Consultation process to continue

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is urging whanau, hapu and iwi to continue dialogue with the government as it develops a way forward on the foreshore and seabed issue.

“The government’s foreshore and seabed proposal acknowledges Maori ancestral connection and provides for specific use rights,” said Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

"There are many more opportunities to take part in developing the legislative framework because the government will continue to talk to stakeholders and encourages further participation through the select committee process."

A new customary title will recognise the ancestral connection of local whanau, hapu and iwi and ensure they will have a say in decision making over it.

Sixteen regional working groups, comprising Maori, central and local government, will be established as a matter of urgency to develop the mechanics of how these enhanced opportunities to participate will be delivered.

Provision is to be made for agreements to be entered into between Maori, central and local authorities to formalise the arrangements.

To assist the process, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is developing a range of options to promote Maori participation. These could include options such as devolved management, membership on hearing committees, and the establishment of an iwi or hapu committee.

“A major issue which emerged during the hui and in the later dialogue with Maori was that the provisions which now exist in the Resource Management Act, the Fisheries Act and the Local Government Act to protect Maori customary rights – including fishing rights – were not working as well as they might," said Parekura Horomia.

“Often the impediments relate to the resourcing and capacity of local Maori and relevant government agencies to participate effectively. The government would expect these matters to be part of the discussions.

"The government is working very hard to ensure a positive outcome for all New Zealanders recognising the diversity that exists in our country," said Parekura Horomia.

ENDS

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