Ministers welcome positive feedback
24 June, 2004
Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia welcomed positive feedback from interested parties over a proposal to progress the marine farming industry.
Today the ministers, supported by MPs Dover Samuels and Mita Ririnui, chair of the Maori caucus, met for a second time with iwi representatives, who confirmed their support in principle to deal with the unfinished business of the 1992 Fisheries Settlement.
The Government intends to provide iwi with, where possible, an allocation of an area equivalent to 20 per cent of the total marine farming space allocated since 1992, and 20 per cent of any new marine farming space.
"This allocation of marine farming space is about fairness and opportunity, said Mr Benson-Pope. "The proposals are good for Maori economic development, while at the same time providing certainty for the industry as a whole to move forward with confidence.
"The group today committed to continue constructive dialogue and assist in developing the detail of the proposal. The government is working in good faith to resolve Treaty settlement issues."
Mr Benson-Pope says feedback from other sectors of the marine farming industry had also been positive. The New Zealand Marine Farming Association's executive officer Graeme Coates publicly welcomed the proposal. Port Mussel Company general manager Terry Schwass described the proposal as "the most sensible" option.
Mr Benson-Pope says he is pleased to be able to report back to a cabinet committee next week the support of Maori, and this direction will enable further drafting of the Aquaculture Reform Bill to proceed.
Contact: Pete Coleman (Press Secretary) (04) 471- 9685 or 021-811-003