March 17, 2015
Fishing report weakens Maori voice
Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene is concerned a proposed reformatting of the Maori fisheries settlement could cut out smaller iwi and weaken the overall Maori voice in the industry.
A $600,000 review of settlement structures by Wellington barrister Tim Castle has recommended Te Ohu Kaimoana be axed and its assets distributed to iwi.
Iwi would also be able to sell their fisheries settlement assets to other iwi if they wanted to quit the industry.
Mr Tirikatene says the report is already creating uncertainty, with the bankers and customers of Maori-owned companies expressing concern for the future.
He says Mr Castle seems to have ignored the fact the settlement was a hard-fought compromise, and the options he favours had already been considered and rejected in that process.
"There's 57 iwi, there was only one settlement for all iwi and it makes sense that there is a centralised voice to advocate for Maori. Not everyone's as big as Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou or Ngai Tahu. There's a lot more other iwi there that all have interest in the sector and in the settlement and you know they need to have their voice represented as well," he says.
Mr Tirikatene says it was an exhorbitant amount to pay for a commercially shallow report that has already weakened Maori investments and undermined fish industry jobs.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH RINO TIRIKATENE CLICK ON THE LINK
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