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Strong Support For Allocation Plans


MEDIA RELEASE
8 September 2002

Strong Support For Allocation Plans

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission said today that strong support was developing around the country for its proposals for allocation and benefit distribution of the Fisheries Settlement.

The chief executive of the Fisheries Commission, Robin Hapi, said: “It’s extremely encouraging that in less than three weeks since launching proposals for allocation of the Fisheries Settlement, more than half of the Maori population affiliated to the various Iwi are indicating support for most if not all aspects of our model.”

Of the 38 Iwi the Commission had met with since Ahu Whakamua allocation proposals were launched on 14 August, 23 Iwi representing more than 50 percent of the total Maori/Iwi affiliate population had already indicated support to the model.

This figure includes those Iwi organisations that said they supported the model, but needed to consult their members further before giving a final determination. “Some Iwi have indicated they don’t agree with every aspect of the model. They have, however, said these aspects are not fatal, that enough time has been spent on this and they want allocation resolved so that everyone can move forward,” Mr Hapi said. The Commission has yet to meet with another 20 Iwi. Indications of support are required by 27 September.

The proposals released by the Commission allow for all quota returned to Maori through the Fisheries Settlement to be allocated to Iwi either by a coastline formula or a formula that mixes coastline and population. The proposals also seek to create Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, under which the Commission’s five subsidiary fishing companies would be consolidated.

The proposals strengthen Iwi through the allocation of substantial fisheries resources, such as inshore and deepwater quota and cash, but also provide for increased Maori strength with the creation of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited. AFL will be New Zealand’s largest fishing company making it able to successfully compete in the global seafood industry, retain the significant influence Maori have secured in the local industry and provide ongoing dividends for the benefit of all Maori.

Mr Hapi said that while not all Iwi had yet signed up to the model, there were still another three weeks before they needed to signal support. “We’re encouraged by the support we’ve received so far. Iwi still have time to take it back to their people before signalling to the Commission. Some Iwi executives have sought more meetings with the Commission to further clarify issues. We would hope that all Iwi and Maori see that this is the best chance there is to resolve allocation once and for all

ENDS

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