December 06, 2022
Ngāpuhi backing Ngāi Tahu fish fight
Ngāpuhi chair Wane Wharerau says the rānanga is trying to avoid a $17 million haircut by joining a challenge to changes to the Māori Fisheries Act.
Ngāi Tahu has lodged a High Court challenge aimed at blocking action on a decision by a Te Ohu Kaimoana special meeting in 2016 that any future distribution of fisheries settlement assets be in equal shares to the 58 mandated iwi.
Mr Wharerau says that motion was put up without notice from the floor of the hui, and overturns the previous population-based formula.
That would have a major impact on Ngāpuhi, which is the largest iwi with an estimated 165,000 descendants.
“That would mean Ngāpuhi would take a haircut of something in the vicinity of $17 million if that model was used so of course in a fiduciary sense Ngāpuhi or the rūnanga needs to be protective of those assets,” Mr Wharerau says.
He says Ngāpuhi has no intention to break up the Māori fisheries settlement trust, but it needs to protect the position of its members.