December 03, 2014
Treaty founders on secret Rena deal
The Waitangi Tribunal says two Bay of Plenty claims concerning the removal of the Rena wreck from Otaiti Reef are well-founded.
It says the deal the crown made with the Rena owners in October 2012 breached the treaty principle of partnership and mutual benefit.
It signed the Wreck Removal Deed without having sufficient knowledge of Maori interests in the reef or consulting with affected Maori, despite it being both practical and important to have done so.
That deed obliged the Crown to consider supporting an application by the owners for resource consent, which would have put the Rena owners in a special position in the resource consent process in a way that could significantly affect Maori interests in Otaiti.
As it was the crown opted in August, after an initial report by the tribunal, to partially oppose the application.
The Tribunal recommended that the Crown take active steps to protect Maori interests in the resource consent process and assist the active participation of affected Maori.
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