December 02, 2022
Knives out as Ngāi Tahu challenges fisheries carve up rule
Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says the iwi is going to court to uphold the integrity of the Māori fisheries settlement.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has filed a High Court challenge against the decision of a special meeting of the settlement trust Te Ohu Kaimoana that any surplus funds would be distributed to iwi in equal shares.
That’s a departure from previous allocations of cash and quota, which have been based on a population and coastline formula that has greatly benefited the South Island iwi.
Ms Tumahai says she doesn’t want to see that change enshrined in an amendment to the Māori Fisheries Act.
“We’ve been settled for 23 years now and we’ve spent 23 years litigating to ensure that settlement’s upheld. It’s the rights and interests of our people so we have a duty to be doing what we’re doing. Equal distribution, that abandons, that’s in conflict with the core principles in the fisheries settlement so we can’t support it,” she says.
Lisa Tumahai says Ngāi Tahu has made the decision fisheries will always be a core part of its activities.