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Treaty rights grab test for Maori Party loyalty

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Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Jamie Tuuta says the Maori Party needs to reassess its relationship with the Government because of the way treaty rights are being taken in the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

Environment Minister Nick Smith today rejected a compromise that iwi voluntarily shelve the use of Maori fisheries quota in the Kermadec region.

He insisted those rights be nullified.

Mr Tuuta says given that position, both the Maori Party and the Greens should reconsider their support for the bill.

"We don’t see the issue we face today as being too different from the foreshore and seabed matter. Secondly I think it is important for the Green Party to reflect on their view on the treaty and indigenous rights because it is fair to say if they support the bill in its current form, they are supporting the unilateral extinguishment of Maori rights and interests," he says.

Mr Tuuta says the there was no robust science put up to justify a giant no-take marine reserve, and it clashes with Maori ideas of kaitiakitanga.



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