3 Jul 2011

Te Rarawa leader says Wai 262 focuses on solutions

11:00 am on 3 July 2011

A Far North Maori leader says the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the Wai 262 claim focuses strongly on solutions.

The claim - often referred to as the flora and fauna claim - deals with the protection of Maori cultural and intellectual property rights. It is due to be released on Saturday.

Claimants have gathered at the Roma marae at Ahipara to analyse an embargoed copy of the tribunal's findings.

Haami Piripi, of Te Rarawa, says the tribunal has recommended ways the Crown could enshrine Maori rights as kaitiaki or guardians of their culture, without legislative upheaval.

Mr Piripi says the report suggests any bid to change the copyright or patent laws would take huge resources and create great controversy.

He says one recommendation is a Maori cultural board to vet New Zealand companies wanting to use a Maori motif or taonga - but

there's no way, he says, of forcing foreign companies to do that.

Mr Piripi says the report is highly significant for New Zealand, but the question is whether the Government will actually implement any of its recommendations.

He points out that the tribunal's report on Te Reo - which was part of the Wai 262 claim - came out months ago but the Government has taken no action on it.