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NZ Agreement Reached over Aquaculture Interests

by Ellen Hardy
14 October 2008, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - An Agreement in Principle was signed today, between Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton, Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen, and leaders representing the iwi of Hauraki, over resolution of pre-commencement (1992-2004) aquaculture interests in the South Island and the Coromandel.

The Agreement in Principle is for a one-off cash payment of $97 million in full and final settlement of the current Crown obligations for pre-commencement space or aquaculture space that was approved between 21 September 1992 and 31 December 2004 under the previous marine farming regime.

This agreement in principle covers the vast majority of New Zealands aquaculture development areas including the Marlborough Sounds, Tasman Bay, and Hauraki Gulf along with the rest of the South Island.

"Maori will benefit from the flow on effects from this agreement. Aquaculture is a growth industry and has great potential for employment and investment opportunities for Maori. A cash settlement will provide iwi with the means to get into the business of aquaculture or make the choice to invest elsewhere. A cash settlement gives that flexibility.

With the signing of the Agreement in Principal parties will now work toward a Deed that will allow for legislation to be introduced to Parliament next year.

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Ellen Hardy