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Urban Maori Fund Worth $20 Million

14 August 2002


Embargoed To 11:00am, Wednesday, 14 Aug 2002

Urban Maori Fund Worth $20 Million

Maori who live in the cities or outside their tribal area will have access to a $20 million fund aimed at increasing the range of skilled and qualified Maori able to participate in all levels of the New Zealand Seafood Industry.

Under allocation proposals released by the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission today, a $20 million fund will be established to provide benefits of the Fisheries settlement to Maori who have not or cannot identify their Iwi or who do not wish to associate with their Iwi. This amount is double what was previously proposed in 1999.

The fund will operate through a trust called the “Putea Trust”, which will be administered by three trustees answerable to commissioners of the new Te Ohu Kai Moana.

Fisheries Commission Chairman Shane Jones said that while Iwi would be responsible for ensuring benefits from the Settlement were delivered to their members, the Fisheries Settlement was ultimately for the benefit of all Maori. He said that this fund would help make sure that this was the case.

“This putea should allay the concerns that Maori, particularly those in urban areas who may not associate with their Iwi, could miss out on any benefits from the Settlement. The Commission has put in a number of elements into our allocation proposals so that all Maori can benefit and the putea is just one of them.”

He said that the Commission doubled the original 1999 proposal of $10 million. “We are confident that this fund will make a real difference for many Maori who are distant from their Iwi.”

Both Individuals and organisations will be able to access the fund. Commissioners of the new Te Ohu Kai Moana will appoint the three trustees to the Putea Trust. These trustees must be experienced and well-versed in matters of tikanga Maori and two must have a proven track record of working with Maori and Maori organisations to improve their well being.

The establishment of this fund is an important part of the overall allocation proposals and will need the support of Iwi to function successfully.

Ends

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