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Endorsement for Iwi in spite of Crown bias

Endorsement for Iwi in spite of Crown bias

Rahui Katene, Maori Party Candidate for Te Tai Tonga Tuesday 7 October 2008

Rahui Katene, Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga, congratulates iwi involved in the recently announced aquaculture settlement and slams the current government for their entrenched process and bias against iwi.

“This settlement illustrates, again, that Maori can overcome their differences and work together for the good of all. This is in spite of the government’s propensity to ignore the due process of law and reconstruct the world on their own terms,” Katene said.

The Maori Party acknowledges the initiative and enterprise of the iwi involved, Hauraki, Ngati Apa ki Te Ra To, Ngati Koata, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Rarua, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Tama, Ngati Toa, Rangitane and Te Ati Awa (Te Tau Ihu).

The aquaculture settlement is a straight cash settlement for the inability of the Crown to deliver 20 percent of the pre-commencement waterspace – that is 20 percent of existing aquaculture space created between 1992 and 2004.

The Crown valuation of this loss was $86m; the Maori Negotiating Group valuation was $108m. A compromise was reached when both groups agreed to split the difference at $97m for all iwi involved.

“As candidate for Te Tai Tonga, I absolutely commend Te Tau Ihu iwi and Ngai Tahu for their willingness to act on whanaungatanga rather than differences”, she said.

“The same cannot be said for this Government where both the Mâori Fisheries Act 2004 and the Mâori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 extinguish Mâori property rights to fish, fisheries and fisheries development,” she said “and replaced them with limited rights, imposed by the Crown”.

“Indeed the Mâori Party was formed out of the intense dissatifaction, marginalisation and frustration felt by many Mâori over the Labour Government’s 2004 decision to legislate away Mâori rights to the foreshore and seabed,” Katene said. “We will continue to raise this issue, and to seek just solutions for the benefit of all who live in Aotearoa”.

ends

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