4 Jun 2015

Iwi vote to keep fisheries body

11:15 pm on 4 June 2015

Iwi across the country have voted to keep Māori fisheries body Te Ohu Kaimoana.

The decision comes after an independent review by barrister Tim Castles, who suggested the trust should be abolished and iwi be in control of the quota they own.

That review was put to a nine-member working panel, who gathered responses from all mandated iwi and then formulated its own recommendations.

Today, those recommendations were put to iwi representatives in a closed hui in Wellington, with the overwhelming majority voting to see Te Ohu Kaimoana stay.

All but two of the 53 tribes present voted to keep the body.

Maurice Takarangi, who was at the hui representing Rangitāne from Manawatū, Wairarapa and Tamaki nui ā Rua, said the outcome was positive.

"I'm a big believer that it should be retained because we as iwi still need a national body to represent our interests," he said.

"If it had of been abolished, someone would dream up that we should have a national body, so we'd have to get one back again."

He said iwi had voted to make some changes to the way the organisation, its subsidiaries and associate entities operated, which would make it run better.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Matiu Rei welcomed the outcome but admitted he always believed the organisation would stay.

"I think that was always going to be the outcome, because over the years Te Ohu Kaimoana has built up a pretty solid reputation of the sort of work that it does," he said.

"It might be slimmed down a bit, but we all could do with a bit of slimming."

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