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Full, But Not Final

Full, But Not Final

Wednesday 17 Dec 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

It is now clear that the Labour Government intends revisiting the full and final provisions of the 1992 Maori Fisheries Settlement allowing another bite of the cherry in an attempt to buy peace with Maori in the foreshore and seabed debate, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"In response to my questions last week in Parliament, Prime Minister Helen Clark pretended that aquaculture was not an inherent part of the 1992 settlement, whereas it is clear that that legislation, and all legislative definitions of fisheries, embrace aquaculture," Mr Shirley said.

"I chaired the special Parliamentary Maori Fisheries Select Committee set up in 1988, and was the Fisheries Minister in 1990, when the first two traunches of fish quota from the Crown to Maori was passed.

"The 1992 (Sealords Settlement) was - in today's value - a $700 million package. It was agreed by all as being full and final, and expunged any customary claim for commercial fishing interests.

"It now seems that 11 years later this Labour Government is buckling to pressure and abandoning that agreement.

"The principle Fisheries Act of 1983 provides the definitions for subsequent fisheries legislation including the 1992 Treaty of Waitangi fisheries settlement. The following legislative definitions are provided. This Act defines fishing as: `the means the catching, taking or harvesting of fish, aquatic life or seaweed and includes any other activity which may reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking or harvesting of fish, aquatic life or seaweed and also includes operations in support of or preparation for any activities described in this definition'.

"The 1992 legislation expunges all Maori commercial customary fishing claims as part of this agreed settlement.

"The Prime Minister was either badly advised when she made the claim in Parliament last week that aquaculture had not been covered by that settlement.

"Alternatively, the Government is cynically revisiting that full and final settlement. By creating this precedent we should not be surprised when other Maori claimants start revisiting their full and final settlements," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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