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Ngāpuhi Challenge Proposed Method Of Distributing Surplus Funds By Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd

Statement from Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-Ō-Ngāpuhi (TRAION) Chair, Mere Mangu, and Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company Limited (NAHC) Chair, Jason Witehira.

The official position of the Ngāpuhi Rūnanga Group is as follows:

A proposed amendment to the Māori Fisheries Act 2004 could see Ngāpuhi disadvantaged. TRAION has requested Hon Stuart Nash, allow further opportunity for discussion to ensure the Ngāpuhi position is considered fully before a change in legislation is enacted.

The position was reiterated to Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd Chair, Dion Tuuta, in a letter communicating that the proposal would be untenable to Ngāpuhi, in consideration of the rights in which the fisheries settlement was achieved, and would create further inequity among Māori. A change in distribution from a population base to an entity base would undo a key component of the original distribution model in the Māori Fisheries Act which took over a decade to establish.

Having challenged the proposed distribution model since an amendment from the floor saw a 2016 Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd (TOKM) resolution passed, the Ngāpuhi Rūnanga Group is relying on a recent indication from Hon Stuart Nash, that he is aligned with progressing with the uncontested areas of the review, and having further iwi engagement on the distribution model. Ngāpuhi are seeking assurance and confidence that the 'contested' areas of the Māori Fisheries Act amendments will not be rushed through Parliament and further opportunity to state our case will be provided.

The Ngāpuhi Rūnanga Group are mindful that other legal options to put forward the position are available however are cognisant of the financial disadvantage this would have on our iwi members. In pursuing alternatives, our actions would detract from our vision and mission to lead the spiritual, social, cultural, environmental, and economic growth for all Ngāpuhi and build enduring relationships and create opportunities to help realize the collective interests, dreams and aspirations of Ngāpuhi.

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