Kermadec sanctuary breaches Treaty fishing rights - Māori group

  • 04/12/2017
Kermadec sanctuary breaches Treaty fishing rights - Māori group
Photo credit: Getty

Māori fishery trust Te Ohu Kaimoana has expressed frustration at National's second attempt to make the Kermadec Ocean a sanctuary.

MP Nick Smith has submitted another Member's Bill to protect more than 600,000km/sq of ocean.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Dion Tuuta says the sanctuary would breach Māori fishing rights under the Treaty.

"[Dr Smith] had never actually engaged with Te Ohu Kaimoana in good faith about this particular matter, and this is just another example of why Te Ohu Kaimoana was opposed to what he was trying to do."

Mr Tuuta hopes they can improve fishery management with the new Government.

"If Government wishes to pursue new forms of marine protection, that [should be] done in consultation and partnership with its Treaty partner," he said.

Mr Tuuta also has a word of warning for the Greens, who have expressed support for the sanctuary. 

"Does [the Green Party] want a short-term relationship of convenience with Nick Smith to get the sanctuary across the line, or does it want a real and enduring relationship with the Treaty partner?"

The Kermadec Bill has the potential to create division within the new Government, with the Greens in support of such a sanctuary and New Zealand First firmly opposed.