8 Aug 2011

More flexibility for iwi to negotiate aquaculture claims

9:26 pm on 8 August 2011

Maori will be given more flexibility in negotiating aquaculture claims under proposed law changes.

Under existing legislation, an iwi gets rights to 20% of all new aquaculture space created, or the cash equivalent.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says under proposed amendments, tribes will be better able to negotiate a package that suits their circumstances.

Regional allocations would also make sure that iwi get the space in more useful blocks, rather than 20% scattered among each allocation made, he says.

Another change is being proposed which will allow a trial of finfish farming in the Hauraki Gulf.

Dr Sharples says the area is suitable for raising hapuku or kingfish in sea cages.

The amendments will be added to aquaculture legislation already being considered by Parliament.