June 03, 2015
Urbans upset at fisheries cash grab
Urban Maori intend to challenge what they are calling a money grab by iwi at today's special fisheries hui in Wellington.
National Urban Maori Authority chair Willie Jackson says iwi are not content with the half billion dollars in assets gained under the Maori fisheries settlement.
They also want the $20 million in Te Putea Whakatupu, a trust set up by the 2004 Maori Fisheries Act to support the needs and aspirations of urban Maori through education, training and economic development.
The hui is part of a 10-year statutory review of the structures set up in the Act.
Iwi will be asked to vote on the recommendations of the review, as massaged by an iwi working group called together by Te Ohu Kaimoana.
While the working group recommends the Maori fisheries settlement trust should remain, it wants to cut its power and purse by stripping it of income and voting shares in pan-Maori company Aotearoa Fisheries.
It also sidelined the review’s call for urban and national Maori organisations to have a greater say in Te Putea Whakatupu.
Mr Jackson says urban authorities were forced to go to court to get recognition for urban Maori in the legislation, and it’s prepared to do so again.
He says the fisheries settlement was for the benefit of all Maori, not just iwi.
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