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Chen Palmer excited at Maori Post-Settlement opportunities

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chen Palmer excited about the opportunities for Maori in the Post Settlement era

Chen Palmer hosted a forum in Wellington last night on the issues, challenges and opportunities facing Iwi Post-Settlement Governance Entities.

“Most iwi and hapu have now settled and there needs to be more discussion about what legal vehicle best allows Māori to achieve their vision and goals for their whānau, which will be economic, cultural and social, as well as being able to engage with the Crown. We wanted to make a contribution to that debate as public lawyers,“ said Mai Chen, the Firm’s Managing Partner.

A clear theme of the forum is that the legal structures currently available to iwi and hapū are not fit for purpose in the post-settlement environment and will need to adapt.

“History has taught us that applying pākeha models to a Māori context does not work. We need a new high-level, empowering and permissive statutory framework designed for the specific needs of iwi and hapū post-settlement” said Ms Chen.

Chen Palmer would like to thank the Minister and Co-Leader of the Māori Party, Hon Tariana Turia for reinforcing the “why” at last night’s forum. The Minister spoke about the need to ensure that any post settlement governance entity enables Maori to grow their wealth safely and sustainably through kaupapa Māori structures that focus on governance for the collective good; and gave her insights into the Treaty settlement process.

“Currently iwi are forced to use a second hand chess set, where they mix and match different off-the-shelf entities for particular purposes: companies for commercial purposes, and trusts for political, social or cultural purposes. It shouldn’t have to be this hard. We need governance structures that serve iwi nation building”, said presenter at the forum, Sacha McMeeking.

Chen Palmer will take these lessons forward and will be publishing the Māori Law Toolbox with LexisNexis in 2015, which will focus on the issues, opportunities and challenges in the post-settlement environment.

Hon Pita Sharples, Minister of Māori Affairs and Co-Leader of the Māori Party, will be speaking at the Auckland launch of the Chen Palmer PSGE stocktake on Friday, 17 May from 5:30 – 7pm at Level 14, 52 Swanson Street. The event will be led by Mai Chen, with presentations from Baden Vertongen, head of the Māori Legal Team at Chen Palmer who has advised on high profile Treaty settlements and post-settlement governance structuring for many years, and Sacha McMeeking, founder of Catalytic and former General Manager Strategy & Influence with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please email Vicky Davis on vicky.davis@chenpalmer.com or contact her on 09 557 0350.

ENDS

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