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Iwi Willing To Resolve Fisheries Allocation

Iwi Willing To Resolve Fisheries Allocation

The time for signalling agreement to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission’s proposals for allocation and benefit distribution of the Fisheries Settlement closes today.

The Chief Executive of the Fisheries Commission, Robin Hapi, said that statements of agreement were beginning to flow into the Commission from Iwi around the country. With the original Deed of Settlement – the “Sealord Deal” – signed on 22 September 1992, it was encouraging that so many Iwi were now willing to have this issue resolved.

“In the decade I have been with this organisation, what excites me most is the degree to which so many Iwi are willing to significantly compromise over allocation for the benefit of all Maori and to ensure a durable solution.”

Mr Hapi said there had been robust debate in the seven weeks since the Commission released its proposals for allocation and benefit distribution of the Fisheries Settlement, in a document called Ahu Whakamua.

“Iwi, and Maori, have supported the Commission’s management of the Fisheries Settlement. In 10 years, the Commission has grown $250 million to what is now conservatively estimated at $700 million, achieved a compound growth rate of 8.8 per cent per annum and brought Maori control of New Zealand’s entire commercial fishing industry to more than 33 per cent.”

“By acting together we have been able to build global businesses and increase wealth for all Maori. It is a lesson we must carry forward into the future.” Mr Hapi said the Commission must ultimately decide whether to alter the proposals within Ahu Whakamua as a result of the letters of agreement.

“When they finalise their view, the Commissioners are firmly resolved to ensuring allocation is durable for future generations and that it is for the benefit of all Maori.”

Mr Hapi said the Commission would analyse over the next few weeks the responses it receives from Iwi and develop a report to issue to the Minister of Fisheries, as required by the legislation. “This is a significant milestone for allocation and the process for agreement is on track,” Mr Hapi said.

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