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Treaty Tribes releases principles document


“Ko Te Ihi o Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Ko Manawhenua, Manamoana”

28 November 2001
For immediate release

Treaty Tribes releases principles document

The Treaty Tribes Coalition today released a document containing nine key principles to guide the final round of consultation on Maori fisheries.

“The Treaty Tribes Coalition will support the Government and Te Ohu Kai Moana (TOKM) in moving to a speedy allocation of Maori fisheries assets,” Treaty Tribes Coalition chairperson Harry Mikaere said.

“We do not know what models TOKM is putting before iwi, and we are not prescribing one in advance. There are certain principles, however, that have underpinned all of the settlements and negotiations so far and we will not walk away from those.

“It is now 12 years since the Crown first settled with iwi to compensate Maori for their loss of fishing rights. As the owners of Maori commercial fishing assets, we welcome the Government’s commitment to getting allocation, and the fact that TOKM wants to get on with its job of passing these assets back to Maori.

“The whole reason for the Treaty Tribes Coalition is to see final settlement and allocation. We want to ensure that this time there is real progress and finality.”

Mr Mikaere pointed out that that there was only a short window for the expressions of will from the Government and TOKM to translate into action.

In July, Te Ohu Kai Moana announced that it would be releasing proposals for allocating the Maori fisheries settlements, PRESA (those agreed with the Crown in 1989) and as well proposals for distribution of the benefits of the 1992 settlement (POSA). That is to occur at the start of next month, to be followed by consultation with iwi early next year and the draft of a new Maori Fisheries Act in April 2002.

Treaty Tribes recognised that TOKM will bring together PRESA and POSA in this consultation round in an attempt to achieve greater consensus around a new allocation model, Mr Mikaere said.

“Obviously this is not Treaty Tribes’ preferred position. All of our work, and that of many other Iwi was in achieving a model for the allocation of the pre-settlement assets. We do not want the inclusion of the 1992 settlements to mean a relitigation of old debates – and certainly not further delays.

“We will work through the Government’s and TOKM’s process to achieve finality. In doing so we must build on all the previous work, and take with us the principles that have always guided us.”

Mr Mikaere said the booklet, “Principles for Fisheries Allocation” outlined the nine principles that the Treaty Tribes Coalition would apply to any proposals.
Five principles are about allocation:
 Consistency with the Treaty of Waitangi, recognising that The Treaty is a contract between iwi Mäori and the Crown
 Acknowledging that property rights belong to iwi Mäori and that allocation of the settlement assets must therefore be to iwi - recognising all Mäori must ultimately benefit
 Consistency with the terms of settlements - meaning the specific agreements and undertakings negotiated in good faith with the Crown
 Consistency with the Taumata Paepae
 Consistency with the concessions already made in developing the Optimum Allocation Model.

Four principles are about implementation:
 That any proposals must facilitate the entry of Mäori into the business and activity of fishing
 Promoting iwi readiness to manage their assets
 Ensuring iwi have the same asset rights as other New Zealanders to work effectively in a highly competitive international industry
 Ensuring any successor to TOKM is accountable to iwi.

“Our principles are consistent both with the legal rights that led to the fisheries settlement and tikanga Mäori. They are no more than the rights other New Zealanders enjoy.

We believe that other iwi, the Government, and other political parties should be guided by these principles when determining their respective positions on these fundamentally important matters.

“Treaty Tribes’ undertaking is to support any allocation model that is founded on these underlying principles.”
……………………………………..

The Treaty Tribes Coalition was formed in 1994 to represent the interests of those iwi that were committed to the resolution of the fisheries assets allocation debate on principled terms that are consistent with the terms of the original fisheries settlements and tikanga Mäori. The constituent members of Treaty Tribes are: Hauraki Mäori Trust Board (representing the 12 iwi of Hauraki); Ngäti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Ngäi Tamanuhiri Whänui Trust; Ngäti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust and Te Runanga o Ngäi Tahu.

The booklet “Principles for Fisheries Allocation” is being distributed to all iwi, MPs and the media, and is available from the Treaty Tribes Coalition, PO Box 13 046 Christchurch, phone 03 371 2656, www.treatytribes.co.nz.

NOTE:

In line with this the Treaty Tribes hui at Waipatu in November 2000, attended by more than 35 iwi, passed this resolution unanimously. “This hui demands the allocation of all our fisheries assets and will not entertain non-allocation.”

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