8 Oct 2008

Maori aquaculture settlement tipped

11:02 am on 8 October 2008

The Government has found $97 million to bring forward the Maori aquaculture settlement.

Waatea News reports the signing of an agreement in principle should go ahead next Monday.

Ten tribes will share a one-off cash payment in compensation for commercial use of marine farming space, mostly in the upper South Island and the Hauraki Gulf.

Richard Bradley, the chair of Blenheim-based Rangitane, says it will mean the iwi does not need to wait until 2014 to get the 20% of pre-existing space promised to them in a 2004 deal.

He says Te Tau Ihu and the Marlborough District Council went to the Fisheries Minister to make the case that there was no more available space at the top of the South Island.

He says it was the drive by top of the South Island iwi to get into aquaculture that sparked the whole foreshore and seabed controversy.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says iwi may use the money to take a further stake in aquaculture.