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Minister of Maori Affairs drops the ball on fish

Minister of Maori Affairs drops the ball on fisheries

Sandra Lee MP 'It is a myth for Tau or anyone else to say that litigation has delayed the allocation of the fisheries asset to Maori. In fact it is the delay in fair allocation that has generated all the litigation,' leader of Mana Motuhake and deputy leader of the Alliance, Sandra Lee said today.

She was responding to Minister of Maori Affairs Tau Henare's comments and that all parties have had plenty of time to sort out their differences, and should have done so by now.

'Hapu and urban Maori groups didn't want to spen d years in a court room: they had no other choice. While the Commissioners have been lavishly generous to themselves, Maori have been forced into the courts to seek justice.

''Appointing' another team of commissioners is not going to address the frustrations that Moari feel over the failings of the Commission to develop a fair distribution model. Only a democratically mandated Commission will be able to fulfil that call.

'If the Alliance is part of the next government we will be demanding elected democratic representatives rather than Crown appointees.

'At a time when public confidence in senior Crown appointees is at an all time low, the WINZ fiasco being but the latest, why should Maori have more confidence in Crown appointees than the general public?

'Tau Henare, like Maori Affairs minsiters before him, has failed to front up to the inherent problems that exists with the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission..'That is something we in Mana Motuhake and the Alliance a re committed to doing in a few months, if part of the next government,' said Sandra Lee.

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