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Largest Iwi First To Get Fisheries Assets

Largest Iwi First To Get Fisheries Assets

Embargoed To Thursday 22 September 1200hrs

This week Ngapuhi in Northland has become the first iwi to receive Maori commercial fisheries settlement assets under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004.

The Maori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana, today congratulated Ngapuhi, adding the iwi had met the requirements under the Act to become a Mandated Iwi Organisation in a short space of time. Ngapuhi received part of their share of the fisheries settlement assets this week.

“Te Ohu Kaimoana has transferred the first assets from our stewardship back to iwi ownership in less than a year since the Maori Fisheries Act was passed and is well on track for full asset transfer to all iwi by 2010,” CEO Peter Douglas said.

This month five other iwi have also implemented the necessary management structures and constitutions as well as having a register of members that are required under the Maori Fisheries Act. That progress has now allowed Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited to recognise them as Mandated Iwi Organisations (MIOs).

The four iwi that have just been recognised as MIOs may also have some or all of their settlement assets in time for the 1 October fishing year.

The other iwi are Ngati Kahu ki Whaingaroa, also in Northland; Te Aitanga a Mahaki near Gisborne, and Ngati Rarua in Motueka. “It is encouraging that these iwi will have completed their constitutions and registers and become mandated and to see iwi from different parts of the country making progress.” Mr Douglas said. “I expect that in the next year we will be working with the neighbours of these iwi along with many others throughout the country.”

Ngapuhi, which represents nearly 16 percent of the iwi-affiliated Maori population, receives more than $60 million under allocation. This includes some deepwater fish stocks, cash and income shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Limited. Inshore fish stocks, harbour fishstocks, the remaining deepwater fishstocks and freshwater fishstocks will be allocated once agreements on shares have been reached with adjacent iwi. This can occur when those iwi have also been recognised as MIOs.

The amount of settlement assets each iwi receives depends on its number of members as well as the iwi’s total coastline boundary.

Mr Douglas said these transfers represented approximately 14 percent of the entire Maori Fisheries Settlement for over 17 percent of the iwi-affiliated population of New Zealand.

The transfers that the six iwi each receive are:

IWI APPROX AMOUNT (NZ$)
Ngapuhi 67,000,000
Ngati Kahu ki Whaingaroa 1,290,000
Te Aitanga a Mahaki 2,840,000
Ngati Rarua 509,000

ENDS

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