Te Ururoa Flavell, MP for Waiariki, says the Maori Party is 'comfortable' with the independent report released today by Environment Minister Amy Adams.
"One of the objectives of the government's Phase Two work programme is to "provide for efficient and improved participation of Maori in resource management processes".
"Natural resource allocation is one of those matters that are of high importance to M?ori. We know that Maori want to see their role in resource management strengthened".
"The Maori Party is a strong advocate for a National Policy Statement on Maori participation including iwi/Maori management committees and treaty representation. Our co-leader, Pita Sharples, has called for such a statement to c--oo-ordinate all of the various mechanisms to strengthen Maori participation and iwi management in the RMA reforms".
"Today's recommendations will assist that process, through continuing, confirming and combining three key areas of national priority for tangata whenua:
- The relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu, taonga species and other taonga;
- The exercise by Maori of kaitiakitanga; and
- Protected customary rights".
"The addition of the term, taonga species, is helpful in recognising the significance of the issues canvassed in Ko Aotearoa T?nei; (WAI 262). Of course it begs the question, however, as to the progress that Government is making in responding to that report as a report of extreme interest for Maori".
"We look forward to further discussion with whanau, hapu and iwi about the proposed changes to section 6 and 7 of the Resource Management Act as part of the next steps moving forward".
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