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Ngapuhi Supports Removal Of Injunction

27 June 2002

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi Chairman Sonny Tau said today Ngapuhi supported all efforts to enable resolution to the long-running debate over allocation of the Maori commercial fisheries assets.

Mr Tau clarified the position of Ngapuhi over the recent announcement the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission and the Government will seek to remove a three-year-old injunction preventing resolution of the allocation of Maori fisheries to Iwi.

“I can say here today that Ngapuhi supports the removal of all injunctions so that all Maori can work towards resolution of the fisheries allocation issue,” he said. “We want to know that decisions we as Ngapuhi make over proposals put out by the Waitangi Fisheries Commission, which we understand to be imminent, will help end this matter once and for all.”

“We don’t want a situation where we’ve taken hard decisions only to find some parties are preventing Maori from taking it the final step. Let’s get this issue over and done with so Ngapuhi can receive what’s rightfully ours and work to grow the economic base of this Iwi,” he said.

“Removing this old injunction is not cutting across the right of people to contest new allocation proposals. There also remain checks and balances before any fisheries assets are handed out – the Minister of Fisheries will review any report on Pre-Settlement Assets from Te Ohu Kai Moana and with Post-Settlement Assets, legislation will need to go through Parliament.”

“These are the processes we should use to reach durable agreements before Maori spend more time and money in court,” he said.

Mr Tau was critical of some parties using Ngapuhi to push their own agendas. “Only Ngapuhi speak for Ngapuhi. It is highly inappropriate for others to say that Ngapuhi is poor or that our babies are dying ‘from painful grinding poverty’.”

“It will be up to Ngapuhi to decide what’s best for its people, not others to use our people for their own agendas,” Mr Tau said.

“Ngapuhi does not support any action that further prevents us from receiving assets that will go towards improving our economic future. It makes sense that when Te Ohu Kai Moana distributes new proposals for allocation, that our decisions will have some meaning. We all want to know that we can move forward after that and not be hamstrung by an out-dated injunction,” Mr Tau said.


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