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Fisheries Commission Statement On Litigation

Fisheries Commission Statement On Litigation

Robin Hapi, Fisheries Commission Chief Executive Officer:

“The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission developed a model for allocation of the Fisheries Settlement and has near unanimous support among Iwi and among Maori to report that model to the Minister of Fisheries this Friday 9 May.

“The Commission intends to do so in the absence of a court order preventing it.

“Few Iwi are happy about what they receive under our allocation model as all believe that what was lost far outweighs the redress provided. Giving to one will be at the expense of another and only fosters elements of continued dissatisfaction. We have weighed the competing priorities in the interests of all Maori to find a durable solution.

“Courts have also decided that allocation must be to Iwi only. However, we have provided for Maori who don’t know their Iwi or choose not to associate with their Iwi to benefit from the Settlement through a $20 million separate fund.

“Developing a model has been a painstaking process over many years. We have gone through the widest consultation process ever embarked upon in this country. This has involved Iwi, urban Maori authorities and many other interested parties. As a result, support for reporting our model to the Minister is at more than 93 percent of Iwi representing more than 96 percent of affiliated Maori.

“The best interests of Maori are served through the distribution of these assets, not through protracted litigation. The Commission must be able to complete its work. We will strongly oppose any attempt to prevent us from reporting these proposals to the Minister of Fisheries and allowing Parliament to finally resolve this issue.”

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