Iwi Must Determine Allocation
“Ko Te Ihi o Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Ko Manawhenua, Manamoana”
8 March 2002
For immediate release
Iwi Must Determine Allocation
The challenge facing the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (TOKM) at the conclusion of its fisheries allocation hui is ensuring legitimate iwi views are reflected in its recommendations, Treaty Tribes Coalition Chairman Harry Mikaere said today.
“But the objective TOKM must have remains the same - returning iwi assets to the iwi owners,” Mr Mikaere said. “TOKM cannot and must not attempt to take on for itself the responsibilities of iwi to their iwi members.”
The Treaty Tribes Coalition (TTC) has attended every hui during this latest round of TOKM consultation. Mr Mikaere said the Commissioners and their staff had committed to an extensive process and heard a vast range of views.
But, “the issues are still the same, the iwi are the same and the iwi concerns are the same as when the Optimum Allocation Model (OAM) was adopted in 1998.”
Mr Mikaere said that, unfortunately, the process adopted by TOKM meant debate had not built on what had been achieved up to 1998. All of the Coalition’s constituent iwi and other iwi that support TTC’s position started this round of debate by picking the discussion up where it was left in 1998.
“That conditional support would see 100% of inshore quota allocated on a coastline basis, a 50/50 split of the deepwater assets, the allocation of shares based on the quota received by each iwi, support for a separate Rekohu/Wharekauri fishery, and support for a development putea to assist those in urban situations who are not currently in direct contact with their iwi.
“However, the Commission’s process - asking open-ended questions over a vastly expanded range of very complex issues – has encouraged iwi to revert to their original positions and start the bidding from scratch. We have to take it on faith that this wasn’t the desired outcome,” Mr Mikaere said.
“If allocation issues are to be resolved in this Commission’s term then iwi-to-iwi korero, that worked in the 1990s, is needed again.”
Mr Mikaere said the Treaty Tribes Coalition supported the calls of Ngäpuhi, Ngäti Wai, Ngäti Porou and other iwi for the re-establishment of an inter-iwi process to build a coalition of support for the Commission’s final allocation proposal.
This had to be built on the fundamental rights underlying the fisheries settlement.
“These fishing rights existed and were exercised before the Treaty of Waitangi. The courts, the Waitangi Tribunal and the Crown have in turn confirmed the Treaty guaranteed the continued existence of those rights.
“It is the recognition of those fishing rights that has led to the transfer of very considerable assets to the Commission to hold, on a temporary basis, for the iwi owners.”
Mr Mikaere said any allocation formula had to be built on the solid basis of those ownership rights. Not to do so would “irreparably damage the integrity of all iwi Treaty rights”.
Mr Mikaere said TTC recognised that the precise OAM formula of 1998 may no longer be ideal for the combined assets that this consultation was considering. But the 1998 OAM could be accurately portrayed as a 50/50 compromise between those iwi wanting allocation on a coastline basis, and those wanting allocation on a population basis.
“That 50/50 point is not unreasonable, extreme, greedy, or unprincipled. Whatever its final form, a new OAM that is to have any chance of support will contain significant compromises by everyone.”
TOKM must provide space in its process for iwi to hold discussions and move to a middle ground, he said.
“The members of the Treaty Tribes Coalition remain committed to working with all other iwi to resolve these matters.”
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.