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New Urban Maori Authority Unlikely To Change Model

New Urban Maori Authority Unlikely To Change Model

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission says it would be prepared to work with the new National Urban Maori Authority launched today, however, the new organisation is unlikely to have an impact on the current allocation model for the Treaty Fisheries Settlement.

The Chief Executive of the Commission, Robin Hapi, said exhaustive discussions had been had with the representative urban Maori organisations that will come under the umbrella of the proposed organisation.

“The urban-based Maori organisations have all put their concerns to the Fisheries Commission. I think most of them are comfortable with the fact that the highest court in the land says we must allocate to Iwi only.”

Mr Hapi said, however, that the Commission had made provision for Maori who don’t know or choose not to affiliate with their Iwi. “I’m doubtful that a national organisation as this would be able to achieve further changes to our allocation model, but it could be useful for wider discussions among Maori,” he said.

All of the representative urban-based Maori organisations have been named in the draft Maori Fisheries Allocation Bill to go to the Government at the end of next week. Those named in the Bill will be able to jointly select one representative to sit on an Electoral College to appoint the Commissioners to the new Te Ohu Kai Moana, the organisation to succeed the Fisheries Commission.

Mr Hapi said that those urban-based Maori organisations named in the Bill would also be able to influence the appointment of trustees of the $20 million Te Putea Whakatupu Trust proposed under the allocation model and designed to grow Maori capacity in the fishing industry.

He said the issue over which organisations would receive the Fisheries Settlement assets through an allocation model developed by the Commission has been heard in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Privy Council. “Legal opportunities over which groups are to receive the Fisheries Settlement assets have been completely exhausted,” he said.

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