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Challenge to Govt. to Respect Democratic process

Maori Party Challenges Government to Respect Democratic process
Tariana Turia, Fisheries Spokesperson for the Maori Party
Monday 12 November 2007

A major call from iwi for Government to listen, must be accorded respect says Fisheries Spokesperson for the Maori Party, Tariana Turia.

“When eighteen significant iwi and Maori fishing groups come together in a major joint release urging that the Government take notice, it is saying something” said Mrs Turia. “These iwi are fed up with being treated with what they describe as ‘contempt’ from the Minister and Ministry of Fisheries” said Mrs Turia.

“This Minister’s top-down, flip-flop approach to fisheries management, has clearly infuriated some key players in the Maori fishing industry” said Mrs Turia.

“Iwi and Maori fishing groups have always been concerned that the amendments to section 10 of the Fisheries Act would not improve the Quota Management System, and do little to enhance the sustainability of our fishstocks” said Mrs Turia. “It would be a foolish Government to overlook these concerns” said Mrs Turia.

“We supported the initiative taken by the Primary Production Select Committee to extend the timeframe for hearing submissions, in order to ensure Maori concerns about consultation had been given adequate time and consideration” said Mrs Turia.

“Genuine consultation, based on reasonableness and good faith, would have been recognised by proposals which are informed by the concerns of those consulted” said Mrs Turia.

“We are all concerned about ensuring sustainable fisheries management for the benefit of future generations and the long life of the marine environment” said Mrs Turia.

“But the legislation is also intended to manage fisheries to enable people to provide for their social, economic and cultural wellbeing – and the recent alarm from iwi and Maori fishing groups tells us we are a long way away from achieving consensus in this respect”.

“The Maori Party has consistently raised the concept of a Genuine Progress Index, which would ensure a balanced approach between the commercial imperatives and sustainability” said Mrs Turia. “In the spirit of MMP we declare our willingness to work together with all parties until we reach a win-win situation”.

ENDS

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