July 17, 2016
Urban Maori fisheries challenge upheld
The High Court has upheld a challenge over the future of a $20 million trust fund set up to ensure urban Maori got a share of the Maori fisheries settlement.
The National Urban Maori Authority and Te Whanau o Waipareira said they weren’t properly consulted over what would happen with Te Putea Whakatupu in the wake of a review of Maori fisheries settlement structures.
They also raised concerns Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust gave too much control to iwi when appointing directors to the trust, which promotes education, training and research.
As a result, Te Putea Whakatupu failed to give urban Maori priority.
Justice Simon France found the primary purpose of the putea was to provide access of the settlement proceeds to those who do not associate with their iwi and do not receive benefits.
Te Ohu Kaimoana failed to interpret the law correctly, and all directors of Te Putea Whakatupu Trust must be able to represent the interests of Maori living in urban areas.
He said there must be consultation with the National Urban Maori Authority and urban Maori generally on the future of the putea.
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