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Ngati Kahungunu Approved

MEDIA RELEASE
4 August 2006

Ngati Kahungunu Approved

One of the largest iwi in the country has met the requirements of the Maori Fisheries Act 2004 and will be transferred the greater part its share of the Maori fisheries settlement.

Te Ohu Kaimoana has approved Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated as a Joint Mandated Iwi Organisation after it met constitutional and structural requirements set out in the Act. “We have reached the halfway mark in terms of allocating the fisheries asset base to iwi around the country, and are ahead in our allocation schedule,” Te Ohu Kaimoana Chief Executive Peter Douglas said today.

Mr Douglas said the constitution of Ngati Kahungunu was approved once provision was made for Rongomaiwahine to withdraw from Kahungunu should it be decided by 75 percent of the iwi.

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said the road to receiving the assets has been long and he paid tribute to those on all sides of the fence who fought so hard to achieve this.

“The fisheries assets play an important role in the future economic development of our iwi. While we have always despaired at the length of time it has taken to get to this point – 14 years since the Sealord Deal – it’s now time for us to get on with the business of fishing.”

Mr Tomoana said Ngati Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine had come to a mutual agreement about the future of their iwi and are looking forward to continue working together. Rongomaiwahine is to remain within the Kahungunu structure but receive a percentage of assets for their own benefit.

“We understand the role each other has to play. Some say Rongomaiwahine is confined only to Mahia, but we say the mana flows right throughout the rohe of Kahungunu and our future is together,” Mr Tomoana said.

Kahungunu will be transferred more than $31 million, while the remaining share of the inshore, harbour, remaining deepwater and freshwater fishstocks would be allocated once agreements have been reached with adjacent iwi. These agreements can be concluded when those adjacent iwi have also been recognised as MIOs.

ENDS

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