September 09, 2014
Ngatiwai chair slams fish park plan
Ngatiwai chair Haydn Edmonds is accusing National of extinguishing Maori rights in its election promise to create a recreational fishing park in the Hauraki Gulf.
He says the plan will significantly affect Ngatiwai customary fishing rights as they relate to both the commercial and non-commercial components of the 1992 Fisheries Settlement.
National is proposing a one-off compensation package for commercial fishers of up to $20 million, but Mr Edmonds says that is an inadequate brush-off for a pan-Maori fisheries settlement that is supposed to be full and final.
He says the proposal sends a clear message to all those with property rights, including home owners, that National is happy to extinguish ownership rights for a few extra votes from Auckland recreational fishermen.
There was no consultation with Maori about the policy.
Meanwhile, the Maori Party’s Tai Tokerau candidate has endorsed the fishing park plan.
Te Hira Paenga says he wants a similar park in Pewhairangi, the Bay of Islands.
Such a reserve would be good for Maori non-commercial fishers, for whom catching fish is more than just recreation.
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