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New Directors Appointed To Maori Fisheries Board

MEDIA RELEASE 19 September 2007

New Directors Appointed To Maori Fisheries Board

Two new directors have been appointed to Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Te Kawai Taumata, the committee established to appoint directors to the Maori Fisheries Trust, met in Wellington on this week and appointed Sonny Tau and Fred Cookson to the board.

Te Kawai Taumata chairman Tukuroirangi Morgan said he was pleased to lead the committee in its deliberations. A number of high calibre people were nominated for the two positions by iwi around the country.

The two successful candidates will add further skills and experience to the current board. They replace former director Rob McLeod, who resigned when made managing partner of Ernst and Young, and Labour MP Shane Jones, who steps down from the board at the end of September 2007.

Sonny Tau, from Ngapuhi and who has been chairman of that iwi for seven years, has in-depth knowledge of the fishing industry - commercial, customary and recreational, and fishing industry experience. Sonny was pivotal in leading northern iwi and others to support the model for allocation of the Maori Fisheries Settlement and Ngapuhi's economic strategy has been tied to its share, which it received in 2005. Under Sonny's leadership, Ngapuhi was the first iwi to receive fisheries settlement assets. He has also been involved with the recreational fishing group option4, as well as the Big Game Fishing and Recreational Fishing councils to find balance across our entire fisheries.

Fred Cookson (Te Arawa-Ngati Uenukukopako and Ngati Kahungunu) has been an alternate director of Te Ohu Kaimoana since 2006. He is a chartered accountant with 18 years' public practice experience and is a senior partner in the firm Cookson Forbes KCSM LTD based in Opotiki.

Over the years, Fred has worked throughout the Waiariki and Tairawhiti districts with iwi organisations as they manage farming, horticulture, forestry and fishing assets. Educated at St Stephen's School and Auckland University, Fred has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chairman Archie Taiaroa thanked Te Kawai Taumata for its work and welcomed the new appointments. "Sonny and Fred bring to the board a mix of different skills. Sonny has excellent relationship management skills, is respected by many iwi and will be able to advance the work of Te Ohu Kaimoana among Maori. Fred has a great knowledge of this country's investment and tax laws and is a chartered accountant. Both men will be assets to the board."

Fred takes up his place on the board immediately while Sonny will become a director when Labour MP Shane Jones leaves at the end of the month.


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