The lessons of foreshore and seabed must not be forgotten and the Crown should not by legislation run rough-shod over Māori interests, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.
“The Government must not extinguish Treaty rights by legislation.
“Labour supports Te Ohu Kaimoana’s legal challenge being determined before this legislation proceeds. The Crown must allow this to happen and honour the outcome, says David Parker.
“The Government’s secret deal over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary also raises serious concerns about Treaty of Waitangi settlements and undermines the full and final settlement principle,” says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.
“The decision was made in secret with a feeble attempt at consultation so the Prime Minister could announce it at the United Nations.
“This does nothing but give Maori a very good reason to not trust the Government.
“The Deed of Settlement that was signed by National in 1992 states ‘nothing in this Act shall affect any Maori fishing rights’ but that’s obviously not the case now.
“Te Aupouri and Ngati Kuri were given hours to consider a complex issue that affects future generations so that’s hardly appropriate consultation.
“Sir Tipene O’Regan says the Government was being pressured by international lobby groups to establish the sanctuary but failed to recall the area was already protected by an existing Treaty and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) from local iwi,” says Kelvin Davis.