Commission Welcomes End To Latest Litigation
The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission welcomes the latest High Court decision by Justice McGechan on the
allocation model and Te Putea Whakatupu Trust.
The Commission and the Crown have spent the last month successfully defending legal challenges to the allocation model
from Ngai Tahu, urban Maori groups and various individuals in the Auckland High Court.
In his latest decision Justice McGechan states that there is no basis for declaring the whole of the allocation model or
even the whole of Te Putea Whakatupu to be unlawful or void. Justice McGechan further stated the Commission is not bound
to produce blood from a stone; the size, funding and wind up provisions of the Putea were all found to be reasonable.
Justice McGechan noted that the Commission was required to ensure that the Maori Fisheries Settlement is ultimately for
the benefit of all Maori and in order to achieve this end the purpose of the Trust needed to be broadened beyond fishing
or fisheries related purposes.
Robin Hapi says “It is always helpful to have legal clarity on these issues. Given the raft of legal challenges the
Commission and the Crown has defended on the allocation model and this draft Bill, we are very pleased that this is the
only aspect of the model that requires some fine-tuning.”
Robin Hapi noted that the Maori Fisheries Bill currently before Parliament already widens the purpose of Te Putea
Robin says “We’re relieved that this last round of litigation is over and we can now get on with the business of
progressing the Maori Fisheries Bill through the House and allocating to Iwi for the benefit of all Maori.”