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New Allocation Role For Te Ohu Kaimoana

PRESS RELEASE
26 JULY 2005

New Allocation Role For Te Ohu Kaimoana

The Chief Executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Peter Douglas, welcomed the signing of the Aquaculture Agreement between Te Ohu Kaimoana and the Government.

The agreement provides for Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, to take responsibility for ensuring that iwi organisations receive their marine farming water-space entitlement under the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement, which represents the Crown’s acknowledgement that Treaty of Waitangi rights for Maori include the right to access water space for marine farming enterprises.

Mr Douglas said that Te Ohu Kaimoana was well placed to ensure this type of settlement reached iwi organisations as soon as possible to ensure they benefited from this growing industry. “We have had the many years of fisheries settlement allocation to sharpen our tools to ensure that we implement the right process for a speedy resolution to this distribution,” he said.

Iwi organisations that have a coastal rohe and meet requirements under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004 and Maori Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 are entitled to receive a share of 20 percent of Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) established by regional councils. The settlement does not apply to iwi organisations that have no coastal rohe.

Mr Douglas said that the aquaculture settlement differs greatly from the Maori fisheries settlement because it concerned iwi within areas covered by particular regional councils. For example, if the boundary of a particular regional council area includes the takiwa of three iwi, then those three iwi will receive an exclusive share of the 20 percent of the AMA.

He added that it would be up to iwi organisations that reside within the area of particular regional councils to reach agreement on how the Maori AMA space would be divided or operated among them. “Iwi might want that 20 percent of AMA space to be separately divided or they may feel it advantageous to invest in the space together and take shares in a larger aquaculture venture. Those decisions are entirely theirs, but the sooner they do that after AMAs are formed, the sooner they’ll be able to get their share.”

He said a new organisation within Te Ohu Kaimoana has been established to undertake the role of allocation, but would ultimately be governed by the existing board of Te Ohu Kaimoana directors.

ENDS

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