6 May 2009

$97 million acquaculture payment due

2:43 pm on 6 May 2009

The Crown is to pay $97 million to three coastal tribes on Wednesday for around 20% of the space available for aquaculture.

Waatea News reports a number of marine farms were established around the South Island and Coromandel regions between 1992 and 2004.

Minister of Fisheries Phil Heatley says it was decided by Parliament in 2004 that Maori should be given 20% of the space taken by marine farms in the regions and the payout fulfills an agreement in principle signed last October.

Mr Heatley says it's hoped the three iwi, Ngai Tahu, Hauraki and Ngati Tama will continue to be investors in aquaculture although the Government cannot direct them as to how they should use the money.