Statement from Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The government’s proposal on the Foreshore and Seabed is a welcomed stepping stone to replace the 2004 Act, but does not go far enough to recognise Ngāi Tahu inherited mana and duty to act as kaitiaki of the foreshore and seabed, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon today.

Addressing the Crown consultation hui at Ōnuku Marae, Akaroa, on behalf of the iwi, Mark Solomon acknowledged the Attorney General Chris Finlayson for his commitment to a principled resolution, but outlined the re-working of the framework that needed to occur.

“There is still time to reach consensus. We urge the government to adopt thresholds for rights recognition that properly reflect the exercise of our inherent responsibility to protect the foreshore and seabed.

“We are concerned that some of the tests in the proposed framework would allow former breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi to extingish rights. As part of these consultations, we have told the government that it would be unconscionable for entitlements to be determined by historical injustices.

“I commend the government’s efforts to remedy one of the greatest wrongs of our contemporary history and urge the Attorney General and Prime Minister to take close note of our feedback and to invest the time to get this important legislation right.”