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44th Iwi To Receive Fisheries Assets


MEDIA RELEASE
17 August 2007

Te Ohu Kaimoana Approves 44th Iwi To Receive Fisheries Assets

Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, has mandated the 44th Iwi to receive their share of the Maori Fisheries Settlement.

Te Ohu Kaimoana Chief Executive Peter Douglas says Nga Rauru, Taranaki, was recently approved as a Mandated Iwi Organisation and would receive $1.9 million in fisheries assets, a share of their overall total.

Nga Rauru Chief Executive Marty Davis said the approval was another milestone for the iwi, which had achieved a land settlement with the Crown less than two years ago.

“We’re certainly pleased to receive our fisheries assets and add them to economic base of our iwi. We are quite a small iwi and our return is not as large as many other iwi, but we believe that it will make a good contribution to our iwi’s economy.”

The only iwi to ratify their fisheries trust deed at the same time the iwi members voted on their historical land claims settlement with the Crown in 2005, Nga Rauru’s priorities will be to ensure their governance and management structures are in place.

“Like the land claims settlement, the success of our fisheries assets is going to be due to our overall planning, which will come with our people understanding their needs and wants,” Mr Davis said.

Nga Rauru receives ownership of some deepwater quota, income shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and cash, the inshore, harbour, remaining deepwater and freshwater fishstocks would be allocated once agreements have been reached with adjacent iwi.

Mr Douglas said while it was encouraging to have 44 iwi through the Maori Fisheries Act requirements, some iwi were not making sufficient progress for a number of reasons, including focusing on current land claims negotiations with the Crown, lack of governance structures to enable completion of the Act’s requirements, or a general dissatisfaction over the need to restructure their organisations to meet the accountability mechanisms required by the Act.

Some iwi organisations with a small coastline and population also felt there was little incentive to pass through the requirements.

Until iwi organisations become mandated, they have received access to the Annual Catch Entitlements (ACE) as a way generating income until full allocation. Te Ohu Kaimoana had written to some iwi saying that unless genuine efforts were being made to satisfy the Act’s requirements, access to ACE could be withheld in the future.

ENDS

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