The Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill passed its second reading in parliament yesterday, with New Zealand First voting in favour of the bill.
The bill formalises the existing customary interests of Ngāti Porou in ngā rohe moana o ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou.
New Zealand First spokesperson for Treaty negotiations, Shane Jones, says he was disappointed to see that not all hapū were in agreement or committed to the bill, which is something they want resolved before the legislation can be passed into law.
“It is taxing of the government and parliament’s time when some hapū choose to slow the settlement process down. However, we recognise the importance of ensuring broad support for this legislation.”
Jones says the bill does not discuss ownership of the common marine and coastal area. The ministers will oversee the bylaws proposed by Ngāti Porou regarding the area and public access will not be affected by the bill.
“New Zealand First believes that the basis for Ngāti Porou’s claim to customary rights has been through a sound process, and has confidence that the existing uses of all New Zealanders of the area subject to the settlement will be protected and preserved,” says Jones.