Major step forward for Maori fisheries settlement
Hon Pete Hodgson Minister of Fisheries
6 April 2003
The release to litigants yesterday of the full particulars of Te Ohu Kai Moana's proposed quota allocation model is an important and welcome step forward, says Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson.
Mr Hodgson said he hoped the release would not be followed by renewed litigation aimed at preventing Te Ohu Kai Moana (TOKM) formally presenting its report on allocation to him.
"It would be extremely disappointing if the wishes of the vast majority of iwi and Maori for a conclusion to the allocation process were frustrated any further," Mr Hodgson said.
"The successful allocation of Maori fisheries assets is a priority for the Government. The debate has been going on for more than ten years and has been through all the Courts, including the Privy Council. It is time for the beneficiaries of the 1992 Fisheries Settlement to receive the assets so they can be used to build a stronger economic and social base for Maori.
"Te Ohu Kai Moana now has a proposal with an unprecedented level of support. Over 90 percent of iwi have made it very clear that they wish the allocation process to move forward."
The Government supported Te Ohu Kai Moana in Court last year in a successful bid to remove injunctions preventing TOKM reporting its allocation proposal to the Government for review.
"The Government will continue to oppose further applications to the Court to prevent or delay Te Ohu Kai Moana reporting its proposal," Mr Hodgson said.
"Once I have formally received that report on behalf of the Government it will be reviewed, as required by the Maori Fisheries Act 1989. If the allocation model is approved it is the firm intention of the Government to submit a Bill to Parliament to give it legislative effect."
Background to release of full particulars report
Te Ohu Kai Moana (TOKM), the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, has released the full particulars report to parties involved in past litigation concerning the allocation models provided by previous Commissions. No litigation has focussed on the effects of this Commission's allocation proposal.
The release of the full particulars report is required by a High Court decision issued on 30 July 2002. The decision requires TOKM to provide the report to litigants at least 20 working days before it presents its report to the Government, through the Minister of Fisheries.
After litigants have had 20 working days to consider the full particulars report, TOKM may present its report to the Minister of Fisheries. The Minister then has 30 calendar days to respond to the report. At any time during that period the Minister may request TOKM to reconsider all or any part of their allocation proposal. In that event TOKM would have to reconsider the matters identified by the Minister, amend the proposal and re-submit their report to the Minister.
As well as a report dealing with the allocation of pre-settlement assets (those assets held by TOKM before the signing of the Fisheries Settlement on 19 August 1992), TOKM must provide a proposal for a new Maori Fisheries Bill that must identify the benficiaries of the Fisheries Settlement, how benefits wil be allocated to them and the apointment procedures, composition and powers of a new body to replace TOKM.
The report includes a draft Bill to provide the necessary statutory basis for the allocation arrangements and the establishment of the proposed new Maori Fisheries body.
Contact: Graeme Speden, press secretary, 04 471 9707 / 021 270 9055 firstname.lastname@example.org