John Key’s unexpected resignation from the position of Prime Minister, and the subsequent jostling within the National Party caucus over the past week, offered a glimpse of attitudes of National Party MPs to Hobson’s Pledge issues.
In her tilt for the top job, Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins said that "iwi participation agreements" included in reforms to the Resource Management Act requiring councils to consult with iwi at the beginning of the consent process were "highly debatable". See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11762442
Collins agrees with Hobson’s Pledge on this.
A year ago, Collins told an ACT Party conference that the Auckland Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB) was neither elected nor accountable, and should be dumped. She said that "the Maori statutory board is an unaccountable monster. It believes it is outside the law". See http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/291404/collins-wants-'monster'-maori-board-dumped
Another point of agreement with Hobson’s Pledge.
However, Bill English got the top job, with Social Housing Minister as deputy, which would indicate that the current Government is likely to continue implementing the demands of the Maori Party to favour the Iwi Leaders Group.
You may recall that in August, English announced an annual Land Wars Day, which is likely to promote the Waikato-Tainui version of the 1860s armed conflicts.
$13.5m settlement for Rangitane o Manawatu
Legislation enacting the Rangitane o Manawatu settlement passed its third reading at an extended sitting of parliament on Wednesday.
Rangitane o Manawatu will receive financial and commercial redress totalling $13.5 million, as well as places on a new board that will advise Horizons Regional Council on management of the Manawatu River.
Negotiations on the claims were dogged by disputes over mandate, with the Crown recognising a body that had originally formed to provide social services in Palmerston North. See http://www.waateanews.com/Waatea+News.html?story_id=MTUyOTk%3D&v=255
That brings total financial redress paid to date to around $2.7 billion.
Rotorua tribe may set fishing bylaws
Te Arawa is the first iwi to be allowed to set its own fishing bylaws under its Treaty settlement.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust wants only iwi members catching a number of treasured species including whitebait, kakahi and eels to conserve the species.
Trout fishing would remain for everyone.
The trust also wants to outlaw the take of the koaro, a native fish species whose population has collapsed across all of the lakes.
The proposed bylaws are a mixture of science and traditional knowledge.
Fish and Game won't comment yet on the bylaws, which go out to the public early next year for consultation. See https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/fishing-native-species-could-restricted-iwi-members
Few MPs attend Treaty settlement readings
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox criticised fellow parliamentarians for what she says is a heartbreaking lack of interest in the process of addressing historical injustices.
In the last week of November, three iwi groups travelled from Taranaki to Parliament to hear their treaty settlement bills being read, but found very few politicians in the House.
Fox said: “The don’t value it, don’t deem it important to be there, they think ‘this is a Maori thing, we’ll leave it to them’”. See http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/319768/mps'-lack-of-interest-in-treaty-bills-'heartbreaking'
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