Parliament property rights grab echo of history

Parliament property rights grab echo of history

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The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana says the creation of the giant Kermadecs ocean sanctuary shows institutionalised theft of Maori assets is not just a thing of the past.

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A select committee has rubber stamped the Government’s plan to extinguish quota in fisheries management area 10 around the islands, including the rights granted 24 years ago in the Maori fisheries settlement.

Dion Tuuta says there was no acknowledgement of what the industry, including Maori, have done voluntarily to protect marine biodiversity in the region, and there is no prospect of compensation.

“In Taranaki and other parts of Aotearoa we have experience of the New Zealand Settlements Act which is what mandated confiscation in the 1860’s, even that piece of legislation had mechanisms for compensation, this legislation doesn’t even have that. We as Maori need to understand the seriousness of this sort,” he says.

Mr Tuuta says while the Foreshore and Seabed Act upset Maori because it took away the ability to seek rights that were still uncertain, the new bill takes way an actual property right.

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