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Government's Proposal Gives Conflicting Messages

Government's Proposal Gives Conflicting Messages

Commissioner Maui Solomon says there are a range of complications presented in the Government's proposal to resolve the foreshore and seabed issue.

Maui says "The Government plans to fetter the legal rights of hapu and Iwi to seek private title to the seabed and foreshore yet they will still allow the case to be investigated by the Maori Land Court. It appears that the Government is seeking to control the game and the results"

Maui is also concerned that the proposal only recognises the non-commercial component of customary rights.

"This approach runs contrary to a raft of recent court decisions, Waitangi Tribunal reports and Treaty settlements including the 1992 Fisheries Settlement. It has been clearly established that a commercial and development right derives from a customary right."

Maui says people need to remember that one of the key reasons why the Te Tau Ihu Iwi originally took the case to the Maori Land Court was because the Government intended to sell off coastal space in the Marlborough Sounds.

The issue of ownership has yet to be worked through with hapu and Iwi but Maui says the Government should be considering redress and compensation if it goes through with its proposal. "It is not acceptable to unilaterally take away a right without negotiating any redress or compensation."

The Commission encourages hapu and Iwi to consider carefully the full implications of the Government's proposal and to consider it in light of the discussion document released by Te Ope Mana a Tai.


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