March 28, 2016
Fish rights grab not right
Labour leader Andrew Little says National seems intent on ripping up the Maori fisheries settlement in its quest for a marine sanctuary round the Kermadecs.
Te Ohu Kaimoana and several major iwi are taking the crown to court over the proposed 620,000 square kilometer reserve.
Mr Little says the crown only talked to the two northernmost iwi, Ngati Kuri and Te Aupouri, ignoring the 1992 Maori Fisheries Settlement which gave all iwi a share of the quota around the islands.
"I don’t know if they just overlooked it, didn't know or they just decided they could get away with it. Hearing John Key's comments saying, well no one has caught any fish there for a few years and they can catch fish somewhere else. but, that's not the point of having an agreement that gives you rights over a particular area. They've got a very strong point in my view and it just looks like the government once again hasn't done their homework, been shoddy, haven't got it right and we're going to have to get it right," says Andrew Little.
Meanwhile, Te Aupouri chair Rick Witana says while the iwi supports the sanctuary and will have a role in managing it, Maori fishing rights must not be extinguished unilaterally, and the Government needs to meet with iwi and their representatives to resolve this situation.
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