24 Sep 2008

Suspicion over Govt motives in seabed ruling

7:11 pm on 24 September 2008

The Hauraki Maori Trust Board is suspicious of a decision by the Government not to issue details of a United Nations committee decision to give New Zealand rights over 1.7 million kilometres of seabed.

The additional area covers the continental shelf beyond New Zealand's existing 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. The ruling was announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Waatea News reports that trust board spokesperson John McEnteer says the fact that the Government is not prepared to release the UN decision leads him to question its motives.

Mr McEnteer says the Government grabbed Maori customary rights over $100 million worth of assets under the Foreshore and Seabed legislation and the current move looks like a further move to deny Maori their rights.