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Ministers welcome aquaculture offer

Ministers welcome aquaculture offer

Government ministers John Tamihere and Dover Samuels have welcomed the offer of a 20 per cent stake in the marine farming industry as a great opportunity for Maori economic development.

The offer compensates Maori for the exclusion of marine farming from the 1992 fisheries settlement, which gave Maori the right to a 20 per cent share of any new fishing quota.

"Aquaculture was discussed but never finalised as part of the 1992 deal, and this offer settles that unfinished business with a real stake for Maori in aquaculture," Mr Tamihere says.

"Maori now have the resources as a major player in the fisheries and aquaculture industries, with the ability to develop assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars and provide significant jobs, income and skills for Maori."

Mr Samuels said the offer was evidence of the results being gained for Maori by Labour's Maori MPs.

"By not surrendering and walking away, but by staying to represent our people in Government, we are delivering the benefits of that commitment to our people."

The ministers said that the aquaculture industry was worth as much to the New Zealand economy as its wine industry, and would overtake wine as an export earner. They said the offer would allow Maori to be part of a sunrise industry with huge development potential from the outset.

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