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Countdown To Allocation Of Maori Fisheries

Countdown To Allocation Of Maori Fisheries

The countdown has begun to allocate more than $700 million worth of fisheries assets to Iwi, the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission said today.

The Commission has commenced the release to litigant parties of the “Full Particulars of a model for allocation of the Fisheries Settlement Assets”. The Commission provided an undertaking to the High Court to provide litigant parties with the full particulars of a model for allocation.

The parties are to have 20 working days to look over the document before the Commission reports to the Minister of Fisheries on 9 May.

Chairman Shane Jones said reporting the allocation model – He Kawai Amokura – to the Minister would end more than 10 years of debate and allow all Iwi to reap significant benefits. “Allocation is intended to occur from the first of October this year. For some Iwi, this will be the biggest injection of capital they receive and the catalyst for economic growth and development,” Mr Jones said.

“The Fisheries Commission has the support of more than 91 percent of Iwi to end the impasse that has prevented Iwi and Maori from pursuing a better economic future,” Mr Jones said. “We have been extremely pragmatic. We sought to achieve the right compromise and develop a model that maximises agreement among Iwi and Maori. We have met our goal, are resolute about achieving finality and are confident that our model is supported by the people on the marae.

“I can’t imagine a single person who won’t be happy to see this chapter put behind us and move on to bigger and better things,” Mr Jones said.

He said that while the Commission has the support of 96.7 percent of Iwi-affiliated Maori to report He Kawai Amokura to the Government, making any alteration or removing one of the elements has the potential to undermine the entire model and agreement.

“This model has been knitted together through much discussion and hard work. If one stitch is undone, the entire creation could unravel. Maori are too close to achieving resolution for that to occur.”

He Kawai Amokura mirrors closely the model of allocation called Ahu Whakamua, which was released in August last year. However, a number of proposals arising from submissions and numerous discussions with Iwi have allowed for improvements to be made.

The key features of He Kawai Amokura are:

All Inshore Quota will be allocated to Iwi using a coastline formula, All Deepwater Quota will be allocated to Iwi using a 75 percent Iwi population: 25 percent Iwi coastline formula, Separate provision for Chatham Islands Iwi, who will be allocated quota on the basis of a separate fishery for a 200 mile zone around the Chathams, Allocation of $20.7 million to Iwi using an Iwi population formula, The establishment of a $20 million Te Putea Whakatupu Trust to assist Maori, including those who do not know or choose not to associate with their Iwi, All Iwi achieve a $1 million minimum allocation settlement, The establishment of a $10 million Te Wai Maori Trust to assist freshwater fisheries initiatives, The establishment of an electoral college – Te Kawai Taumata – made up of regional groups of Iwi and representative Maori organisations responsible for selecting and appointing commissioners to the new Te Ohu Kai Moana, The establishment of New Zealand’s largest single holder of fisheries assets in New Zealand – Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (AFL), A review of the structures, performance and governance of the post-allocation entities (Te Ohu Kai Moana, AFL, Te Kawai Taumata, Te Putea Whakatupu Trust and Te Wai Maori Trust), and A Draft Maori Fisheries Bill

AFL will have two types of shares – voting shares and income shares. Te Ohu Kai Moana will hold all AFL voting shares and 20 percent of the income shares. The remaining 80 percent of income shares will be distributed to Iwi on a population basis. As promoted in Ahu Whakamua, AFL will be required to pay 40 percent of its net profit after tax to owners of income shares.

The allocation of both inshore and deepwater quota will remain as proposed in Ahu Whakamua – 100 percent coastline for inshore quota and a 25 percent coastline: 75 percent population split for deepwater quota.

Mr Jones said that He Kawai Amokura will allocate about half of the total settlement assets to Iwi and the other half managed on behalf of all Iwi under a new organisation, Te Ohu Kai Moana.

“Continued economic benefits to Iwi are ensured through the ongoing annual allocation to Iwi of dividends on the basis of their Income Shareholdings in AFL while the allocation of quota and cash and shares will empower Iwi to develop their own assets as they see fit,” Mr Jones said.

He Kawai Amokura and the Draft Maori Fisheries Bill will be available to download from the Commission’s website http:// http://www.tokm.co.nz from Saturday afternoon.

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