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No end to marine farming Treaty settlements

30 November 2004

Phil Heatley National Party Fisheries Spokesman

No end to marine farming Treaty settlements

Labour's track record of revisiting 'full and final' settlements will mean no end to Maori claims on marine farming space, says National's Fisheries spokesman, Phil Heatley.

The Aquaculture Reform Bill allows for the allocation of up to 40% of new marine farming space to iwi.

But Mr Heatley says the final proportion could be much higher than that if Labour keeps revisiting Treaty settlements that were to have been full and final.

"Five iwi - Ngai Tahu, Ngati Tama, Ngati Awa, Ngati Ruanui and Ngaa Rauru Kitahi - were given preferential tender rights to between 5% and 10% of aquaculture space between 1998 and 2003. Those settlements were to be full and final but all five iwi will also be eligible to receive up to 40% of new aquaculture space.

"This is an industry that's only 40 years old. It's fanciful for Maori to claim Treaty rights to any part of it.

"And with Labour's continued revisiting of historic settlements, it won't be long before the majority of aquaculture sights are off-limits to most New Zealanders.

"National is committed to settling all Treaty grievances, fairly, fully and finally within 10 years of becoming government, and ensuring that all New Zealanders have equal access to our beaches, lakes and waterways," says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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