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Mana Whenua Encouraged to look at EEZ/ECS Bill- Rahui Katene

Rahui Katene
MP for Te Tai Tonga | Environment Spokesperson

24 August 2011

Mana Whenua Encouraged to look at EEZ/ECS Bill - Rahui Katene

The Maori Party is keen to open up dialogue on environmental protection and management in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (ECS).

“The fundamental thing for us when any activity takes place in the EEZ/ECS, is: have we thought about the impact on our environment, have we thought about the impact on mana whenua; how are Maori involved as Treaty partners? " said Rahui Katene. "This is a constitutional issue - you either have a treaty relationship in which you act in good faith towards your partner, or you don't”.

“We want mana whenua to look urgently at how the environment is protected in this new bill; and particularly to ensure the Treaty clause (clause 14) is applied consistently throughout. Whanau, hapu and iwi – as holders of mana tuku iho – must be properly and appropriately engaged”.

“Three months ago I raised Treaty and constitutional issues around New Zealand’s submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits for the Continental Shelf” (‘Government in breach of Constitutional Treaty Issues’; 8 June 2011).

“I am pleased to see genuine efforts to be Treaty compliant in specific measures around consultation, notifying iwi of consent applications reporting, and having regard to existing interests including Treaty settlements and protected customary rights and customary marine title”.

“We support having specific provisions to take account of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill; and ensuring the involvement of the Maori Advisory Committee”.

“But a major concern for the Maori Party – as expressed in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Report on the Management of the Petroleum Resource (December 2010)- is the need for consistent mechanisms for tangata whenua to have meaningful input, when commenting on proposed standards and regulations”

“We know that protecting our primary eco-systems is necessary for both future economic prosperity and for the benefit of future generations “said Mrs Katene. “But before we make our position clear on the Bill, we want to hear from iwi to whether the measures in the Bill will ensure effective participation”.

ENDS

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