March 31, 2016
Taihoa vote on Te Ohu Kaimoana reform
Attempts to maintain Te Ohu Kaimoana as an entity representing Maori interests in fisheries took a blow today as a majority of iwi made a grab for the $74 million investment fund that was to support the restructured trust.
After a statutory review of its first decade in operation, iwi last year voted to take direct control of settlement assets like Aotearoa Fisheries, but to leave Te Ohu kaimona as the central body to provide services and advocacy on their behalf.
Since then there have been months of workshops and wananga about the scope of the trust and how it was to be funded.
The solution was to use the $74 million Te Ohu has built up through prudent stewardship as an endowment fund to provide the $3.6 million a year needed to keep it operating.
But on the eve of the annual hui a tau Ngapuhi leader Raniera Tau called for an independant rewiew of Te Ohu Kaimoana, led by the mandated iwi organisations who have the voting rights.
Work also be done on the legislative change needed to allow the release of the $74 million to iwi.
Mr Tau said the result of the review could be the proposal put up by Te Ohu Kaimoana would eventually prevail, but iwi needed more time to consider the options.
After heated debate on procedure, the motion to taihoa was put and passed handily.
It means that rather than a straightforward reform process, the largest pan-Maori body now faces another year of uncertainty.
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