The Minister of Māori Development is out of his depth if he thinks Māori rights currently being ripped away by the Government’s arrogance over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary will be settled by a select committee, says Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Te Ururoa Flavell is telling Māori media that the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary is good for everyone and Māori concerns can be addressed at select committee.
“This is too important to be fobbed off to backbenchers. It is about holding the Crown to account and upholding the Deed of Settlement.
“The High Court is constitutionally the right forum to consider if the Government is undermining existing laws and breaching the Treaty of Waitangi.
“The Prime Minister says his Government has sovereign rights to push ahead with the proposed sanctuary, but that’s not right.
“Te Ohu Kai Moana is taking legal action because they believe the proposed marine sanctuary extinguishes all iwi customary commercial and non-commercial fishing rights secured under a pan-Maori agreement with the Government in 1992.
“Surely the Māori Party isn’t supporting this blatant disregard for Māori and the law,” says Rino Tirikatene.