Government arrogance has forced a legal challenge because they refused to engage with iwi regarding the proposed Kermandec Sanctuary, says Labour’s Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“In September I warned the Government that their carefree approach and lack of consultation with iwi over the Kermadec Sanctuary could prompt a legal challenge and six months later here we are. This is yet another big stuff up from John Key and Nick Smith.
“The 1992 fisheries settlement stipulated that the Crown would fully consult with Māori on the management of fisheries and ecosystems. Despite this, Te Ohu Kaimoana were not consulted over the Sanctuary and were informed of it just 10 hours before the public announcement. This is a clear breach of the settlement.
“Legal action was never a foregone conclusion. The Government could have consulted but chose not to. We’ve seen such brazen arrogance around Treaty settlements many times before including the legal case over water rights spurred by the asset sale programme and the failure to consult with Ngāti Whātua over the sale of land to private developers in Auckland.
“To ensure the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary stays on track, the Government needs to admit their mistake and get back around the table with Māori,” says Rino Tirikatene.