Te Ohu Kaimoana to remain as advocacy group for iwi

By Ripeka Timutimu

57 iwi from around the country converged on Wellington this morning to decide the fate of Te Ohu Kaimoana in a special general meeting. 

The majority of tribes voted to keep Te Ohu Kaimoana, but a review will be undertaken with a stronger focus on advocacy work for iwi. Now Te Ohu Kaimoana were happy about that decision, though they may not be happy about the latest from Willie Jackson who say's he'll take them to court.

Te Ohu Kaimoana survived the net, but the big fish of Māori fisheries still want to see change.

According to the resolutions agreed upon today, Te Ohu Kaimoana will remain as an advocacy group for iwi to protect and enhance fisheries settlements, but they will also have to hand over their Aotearoa Fisheries shares to iwi.

Sir Mark Solomon says, "We are big enough to look after ourselves, I've never agreed to iwi getting only a distribution share, I've always believed we are big enough to look after our own interests, and not just shareholding but distribution."

Willie Jackson says urban Māori are being thrown overboard.

Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust holds $20mil in assets for urban Māori, settlement received under the Māori Fisheries Act 2004.  Today iwi gained control of that organisation.

But Jackson says he is able to go to court over the issue, leaving it to them to decide who will have power of Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust.