7 Aug 2014

Party eyes erosion over value in Treaty deals

8:16 am on 7 August 2014

Te Tai Hauauru candidate for the Maori Party, Chris McKenzie, wants the Government to compensate tribes for law changes which he says have the side effect of eroding the original value of their treaty settlements.

The former Ngati Raukawa lead treaty negotiator's challenge is part of his election campaign.

He said the issue would not gain a lot of votes, but it was a matter that needed to be raised.

The  Maori text of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Maori text of the Treaty of Waitangi. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Mr McKenzie said the Government's law changes in areas such as reflagging foreign charter vessels and rules regarding mitigating carbon emissions are taking a toll on iwi treaty settlements.

He said tribes were investing significantly large amounts of money to re-flag vessels. These law changes were initiated in response to the mistreatment and underpayment of crews working on some foreign-flagged boats.

Mr McKenzie said that's simply not fair, considering big companies had the ability to make the changes because they're able to pass on the costs to consumers.

He said that the Government should not be able to say "here's a settlement", and then change the rules around elements of it later on so that it value was eroded.

Chris McKenzie said the Maori Party agreed with elements of the foreign vessels legislation being in place, such as eliminating slave labour.

Te Manu Korihi has asked the fishing company, Sanford, for its view on Mr McKenzie's comments.