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Consultation And Allocation Must Proceed

The Treaty Tribes Coalition will stand by Te Ohu Kai Moana to ensure that vexatious legal action does not prevent consultation on models that will lead to the allocation of iwi Maori fisheries assets, Treaty Tribes Coalition chairman Harry Mikaere said today.

“Treaty Tribes has already expressed its concerns with some of the approaches proposed by Te Ohu Kai Moana, but we are committed to participating constructively – and we are totally opposed to any more attempts to use legal challenges to obstruct this process.

“We have attended every TOKM meeting in the last two weeks and while there has been vigorous debate about detail and the models not one iwi has opposed the idea of trying to make progress.

“The reality is we are all heartily sick of waiting. From Treaty Tribes’ viewpoint, we are very tired of people who continue to abuse processes and goodwill by constantly running to the courts.”

Mr Mikaere said that after years of litigation costing millions of dollars the Privy Council confirmed this year that iwi are, indeed, the owners of the fisheries assets.

“Now we are coming together, through the consultation process, to find a way forward. Treaty Tribes will not stop talking to other iwi just because of the actions of a few destructive individuals.

“This latest nonsense just reinforces what Treaty Tribes has been saying for almost two years now – unless Parliament steps in and legislates to give effect to the will of the majority, we will be held hostage to these legal tricksters for another ten years. Iwi will not allow that to happen.”

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