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Ngapuhi Speaks For Ngapuhi

PRESS STATEMENT

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi

May 6, 2003


Ngapuhi Speaks For Ngapuhi

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau today responded to concerns that Ngapuhi had not received as much as some other iwi under the Fisheries Commission’s annual lease rounds.

“We’ve been used by some parties who’ve said that with our population of more than 100,000, Ngapuhi has only received $8 million over the years – about the same amount as a handful of predatory lawyers who do not wish to settle this matter for obvious reasons.”

“While it may be the case that Ngapuhi did receive less than other iwi, it is not a priority now to revisit lease round inequities. If some people wish to challenge the Fisheries Commission’s latest allocation model on the grounds of supposed inequities, they can do so without using Ngapuhi, because we do not want to go down that path at this point in the allocation,” he said.

“The only organisation mandated to speak on behalf of Ngapuhi, on this issue, is Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi. No-one else. Especially those who do not Whakapapa (have blood links) to the tribe”

Mr Tau reiterated Ngapuhi’s concerns over the loss to iwi through the length of time it has taken to resolve the fisheries allocation.

“We have lost more through lost opportunity and litigation than any other reason. It is in Ngapuhi’s best interests, as I believe it’s in every iwi’s best interests, to see the allocation debate resolved and finished with once and for all. To hold it up through whatever reason will only see iwi organisations continue to suffer through missed opportunities and delayed economic development while they squabble over a limited pot of seafood.”

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi stands by its stance that the allocation of Maori fisheries assets must be resolved by Parliament and not be delayed through litigation in the courts. “Ngapuhi do not support litigating. We support these assets being distributed so that we can grow our own economic base for the economic and social future of our members,” Mr Tau said.

ENDS

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