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Maori aquaculture settlement milestone passed

Hon David Benson-Pope, MP
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South
Minister of Fisheries

26 July 2005 Media Statement

Maori aquaculture settlement milestone passed

The Crown has formalised its agreement to settle Maori interest in aquaculture with the official appointment of a Trustee to act as a steward for Maori.

Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd is now Trustee of the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Trust, and will take responsibility for allocating assets from the aquaculture settlement to iwi.

The agreement between Te Ohu Kai Moana and the Crown was signed today in a ceremony between Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and Te Ohu Kai Moana chair Shane Jones.

“The appointment of the Trustee marks a significant point in the Crown’s aquaculture settlement with Maori,” says Mr Benson-Pope.

“The Trustee plays a key role in ensuring these assets and benefits flow through to relevant iwi. Te Ohu Kai Moana's agreement here builds on the substantial role they already play in allocating assets and benefits arising from the 1992 Maori fisheries settlement.

"It is clear that aquaculture was deliberately left out of the 1992 Fisheries Settlement by the then National Government because it was 'too hard' and it remained the unfinished business of that agreement.

“The assets from the aquaculture settlement will provide an opportunity for iwi to play a greater role in the marine farming industry in New Zealand.”

Mr Benson-Pope says the aquaculture settlement is an integral part of recent reforms that allow New Zealand’s aquaculture industry to develop in a way that fits regional communities’ economic and environmental aspirations.

It specifically resolves a matter around Treaty claims, that if unresolved would have caused uncertainty for marine farmers and local government decision makers.

Mr Benson-Pope says the Trustee will be provided with these settlement assets on a region-by-region basis.

ENDS

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