Tuhono Helps Maori Link To $Bn Fisheries Asset
Maori Affairs Reporters
Tuhono Helps Maori Link To Billion-Dollar Fisheries Asset
A new service that connects Maori to their iwi will also provide a link to the billion-dollar Treaty of Waitangi fisheries asset.
Tuhono has been launched by the Tautoko Maori Trust – led by Sir Paul Reeves – to seek the consent of Maori electors to pass on their contact details and tribal affiliations to their specified iwi.
More than 353,000 voters of Maori descent were sent an affiliation and consent form in the post at the beginning of last week and are now being urged to sign and date it, identify their iwi and send it back before the end of this month (May).
Shane Jones, the chairman of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, Te Ohu Kai Moana, says the Commission will do whatever it can to support Tuhono – as should all of those people who have an interest in ensuring the benefits of treaty settlements flow back to all Maori.
The establishment and operation of Tuhono has been jointly funded by the Commission and the Government.
“When the Maori Fisheries Bill is passed later this year, it will transfer around a billion dollars worth of fisheries assets to iwi and Maori,” Mr Jones says
“For individual Maori to become shareholders in this asset they must be registered with their iwi – and the best way to do that is through Tuhono, the Maori affiliation service.”
Mr Jones, who is affiliated to Ngai Takoto and Te Aupouri, also linked Tuhono to last week’s hikoi or march to Parliament.
“The hikoi was an opportunity for people to mobilise and to demonstrate how strongly they felt about the agenda of Maori rights – it was an expression of our identity as Maori.
“I see Tuhono as being another way of expressing that identity, of making a statement about our pride as Maori.
“Therefore I urge all Maori to complete and return their Tuhono forms today – if you want a say in how your iwi manages and benefits from the fisheries assets, you have to be a registered iwi member.
“Grasp this rare opportunity to make a stand and be counted for you, your whanau and your mokopuna.”
Tautoko Maori Trust chief executive Dan Te Kanawa says some people whose iwi is not listed on the Tuhono affiliation and consent form have written their iwi on the bottom right hand corner or on the reverse of the form, and a process is being developed to manage those responses.
Mr Te Kanawa says people who have not received the consent form may not be registered on the electoral roll, their contact details may be incorrect and need to be updated, or when they enrolled, they didn't indicate they were of Maori descent.
To enrol or check if your enrolment details are correct, visit www.elections.org.nz or phone 0800 36 76 56.
More information about Tuhono is available on the website - www.maori.org.