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Dr Muriel Newman

Leaks and Reserves

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It’s been a difficult few weeks for the government. Two developments in particular have been causing headaches.

The first was the leaking of documents that raised concerns that New Zealand might be being used as a tax haven. The second was the news that a number of high profile Maori leaders were joining the fight against the Kermadec Islands Ocean Sanctuary, announced by the Prime Minister at the United Nations last year.

The Panama Papers scandal reads like a John Grisham novel: an international law firm, hacked files, secret meetings, media leaks, political resignations, dirty money, tax dodges and tax havens…

More than a year ago, an anonymous source calling himself “John Doe” offered the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung millions of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm with 500 staff and some 40 offices worldwide.

The papers were to be provided on the condition that their only communication was through encrypted channels – no face-to-face meetings and no remuneration. During the next twelve months, over 11.5 million documents, created between the 1970s and late-2015, were leaked. The data related to over 214,000 offshore entities, including companies, trusts and foundations. While emails made up the largest type of documents, images of contracts and passports were also released.

According to the reporter first contacted, the informant decided to leak the data because he thought that Mossack Fonseca was acting unethically: “The source thinks that this law firm in Panama is doing real harm to the world, and the source wants to end that. That’s one of the motivations”.

The BBC also reported that the firm did not know the identity of the source but said it had been the victim of a hack from servers based abroad.

When the scale of the work involved in validating the authenticity of the leaked documents became clear, the German newspaper enlisted the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Nicky Hagar is their New Zealand connection). The Consortium worked with media around the world, trolling through the private and confidential information to analyse the documents ready for their April 3rd release.

So what does it all mean for New Zealand?

Firstly, New Zealand, like many other countries around the world, does allow foreign trusts to be formed. The laws covering foreign trusts were put in place by the Labour Government in 1988. Former Labour Finance Minister Michael Cullen strengthened the disclosure rules in 2006, when he sought to develop a policy that worked for all concerned: “enabling New Zealand to cooperate with other tax jurisdictions, while not disrupting the legitimate financial transactions of foreign trusts.”

Three years ago, the OECD assessed these arrangements and rated New Zealand as “compliant” – their highest possible rating.

According to the Inland Revenue Department, there are currently 11,645 foreign trusts registered in New Zealand. Our law allows foreigners to set up trusts here without disclosing their own identity or their accounts, or paying tax on their overseas profits. The only information that usually needs to be provided to the tax department when such trusts are established is the name of the trust, and the name and address of a local trustee.

The IRD says that while the only party subject to its information-gathering jurisdiction is the resident trustee, the disclosure rules mean that more information can be demanded if needed – including details of their owners and the investments they made – all of which can be passed on to relevant overseas tax authorities. With New Zealand signed up to a number of tax treaties, including 40 double-tax agreements and 11 information-sharing agreements with other countries, the IRD says it shares foreign trust information with dozens of countries, often proactively.

The fact that New Zealand has disclosure requirements for foreign trusts, and that this information can be shared with countries with which we have tax treaties, shows that New Zealand is not a tax haven.

In fact, in 2015, the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group opposed to financial secrecy, ranked 92 countries and placed New Zealand in 54th place behind the US, Singapore, Germany, Japan, UK, Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands, Australia, and Norway.

With the Panama papers having already forced the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister, opposition parties in New Zealand have been trying to find ways to drag our Prime Minister into the scandal.

Ever since Michael Cullen called John Key a “rich prick” in Parliament in 2007, Labour has been trying to taint him. But their approach doesn’t work – John Key does not fit their stereotype.

Undaunted by a losing strategy, Labour is now trying to force the Prime Minister to release his tax return. Andrew Little said that because the British Prime Minister David Cameron had released his tax returns to prove he wasn’t caught up in the scandal, he would too – and John Key should do the same.

UMR Research, a polling company associated with Labour, is also pushing this line. Their new public opinion survey of questions heavily weighted towards the Panama papers scandal, also asks whether the Prime Minister should release his tax returns, given that David Cameron and Andrew Little have released theirs.

In response to the on-going debate about foreign trusts, the Prime Minister appointed former Pricewaterhouse Coopers Chairman John Shewan to conduct an independent investigation into our country’s foreign trust disclosure rules, reporting back by June 30th.

Mr Key says that if there are recommendations, the Government would look at putting them in place: “If there are things we can do better, if there are improvements that can be made, the Government is under no illusions – we’re more than happy to make those changes.”

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Brian Gaynor, the executive director of Milford Asset Management, believes that because of our relatively competitive tax system, overseas tax havens are not a big issue for New Zealanders:

“Very, very few New Zealanders, who remain domiciled in New Zealand, have their money in offshore tax havens. The reason for this is that we have relatively low income tax rates, low corporate tax rates and no capital gains tax, withholding taxes or estate, inheritance or gift taxes. The desire to avoid these taxes is one of the main reasons individuals invest through Panamanian trusts and other tax havens.”

How long the media beat-up over the Panama papers and tax havens goes on is anyone’s guess, but in light of the amount of time journalists have spent on the investigation – and the fact that companies are now polling on it – it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Meanwhile the announcement that influential Maori leaders, including Dame Tariana Turia, Sir Mark Solomon and Sir Tipene O’Regan, have joined the fight against the creation of the Kermadec Islands Ocean Sanctuary, must have come as a blow to a Government that over the years has bent over backwards to give iwi leaders whatever they want. Perhaps National will now realise they are fair-weather friends.

Their legal action exposes their claims of being dedicated conservationists – the only legitimate guardians of the country’s natural resources – for the charade that it really is.

Real conservationists, including the US-based Pew Charitable Trust, have been pressuring the government for years to extend the Kermadec Island marine reserve. The current reserve, originally put in place in 1990, covers only the 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea. The proposed new sanctuary would extend that reserve to the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone limit, covering 620,000 km2 (239,383 sq mi) – an area twice the size of New Zealand.

The Kermadec region lies midway between the Bay of Plenty and Tonga, and is one of the most geographically and geologically diverse areas in the world. The sanctuary would create a no-take, fully-protected zone preventing all fishing and mining in the area, adding to the protections that are already in place.

Creating the sanctuary would also help New Zealand to meet its international marine protection obligations. Primarily found in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Aichi Target 11 requires that by 2020, New Zealand must ensure that “10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity, are conserved.”

At the present time, although we have 44 marine reserves, covering around 9.8 percent of our Territorial Sea, this equates to less than 1 percent of New Zealand’s total marine area. And while there is some protection in almost a third of our Exclusive Economic Zone, through a ban on bottom trawling in Benthic Protected Areas, these are not recognised as full marine reserves.

The United States and Australia lead the world in marine protection, with the US having upwards of 30 percent of their marine estate classified as protected. The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, which would encompass 15 percent of the Exclusive Economic Zone, would not only enable New Zealand to meet its Aichi Target, but it would also make an important contribution to a growing network of marine protected areas across the Pacific. Together with the US Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the Australian Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve, and the British Government’s Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve, these four areas would cover 3,503,023 km2 in the Pacific Ocean.

John Key announced the planned Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September: “New Zealand welcomes the focus on the sustainability of the world’s oceans and marine resources – a goal which resonates strongly with our region where so many draw their food and livelihoods from the sea. New Zealanders value our coasts and oceans, which are an important part of our culture, economy and environment and we are committed to managing them sustainably.”

The Maori elite, however, are uniting behind Te Ohu Kai Moana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, in its legal action against the Crown. They claim the new sanctuary would cut across their fishing rights.

The Minister for the Environment disagrees: “The claim that this new sanctuary undermines the 1992 Treaty of Waitangi fishery settlement is incorrect. The Government always retained the right to create protected areas where fishing would be disallowed and has done so in over 20 new marine reserves.

In justifying his decision to create the sanctuary, the Minister explained that no fish has been taken from the area by Maori since the 1992 settlement, despite over three million tonnes being caught elsewhere. Five non-Maori fishing companies are also affected, but since they have only caught an average of 20 tonnes of migratory species (which can be caught elsewhere) out of a national annual catch of 650,000 tonnes, the government has proposed that no compensation should be paid.

The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill states, “no compensation is payable by the Crown for the enactment of this Bill (which will prohibit the use of fishing permits, quota, customary fishing, and other existing consents or use rights in the Sanctuary). As a consequence, no compensation will be payable for loss of the value of quota in Fishery Management Area 10, any loss of expectancy, or any other adverse effect on any rights or interests.”

The Minister also refutes the allegations being made by iwi leaders that they were not consulted over the proposal, saying that that he met with them before the announcement was made.

While Maori leaders are claiming they have been wronged by the deal, and will try to gain compensation through the courts, their actions are exposing their rent-seeking agenda. By positioning themselves as guardians of the country’s natural resources, they have been effective in gaining sweeping new rights under the Resource Management Act – and, potentially, over the management and control of fresh water. Publicly demonstrating that their driving ambition is really money and power, could change all of that.


Do you support the creation of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Muriel. You are absolutely right about this exposing Maori to be the greedy rent seeking race they really are. Ask the Moa just how good they are at; protecting natural resources. Ronmac
And please, let’s not capitulate to these self-interested, hypocritical Maori whose spirituality and ‘Treaty rights’ can neatly be expressed by a dollar sign. Graham
The treaty sought to have all citizens treated equally – the sooner all the maori grabbing lot get over it the better. I am so tired of it all. They want more more more. Kim
What is maori cooking up now. The goverment is dammed if it does and dammed if it doesn’t. One would think maori would be first to want to ptotect fish for their future generations. John
I am sick and tired of Maori claiming rights to this and rights to that, actions like this really show them for what they are, money grabbing pariahs. When will it ever end? Fraser
Trouble makers like Turia, Solomon and O’Reagan should be ignored. When support for the formation of a Reserve comes from leading authorities overseas and from Kiwis, their wails of mistreatment count for nothing. Maoris don’t fish there anyway so we can fully support the new Conservation area secure in the ‘feel good’ knowledge that here NZ is doing something positive. Chris
Absolutely!!! Although – the reality is that only one percent of NZ’s total marine area are marine reserves the decision to preserve the area around the Kermadac Islands is an important step to take. The fact that these tribal leaders are interfering in this matter is to be expected . They think they have the right to demand a share of anything and everything in our country. And they do not shy from conjuring up any lies or deception to justify their delusional claims. One can only hope that Nzlanders finally wake up and realize that this ongoing and excessive takeover of Maori leader interests cannot go on any longer and a serious political correction of this distorted situation is necessary to remove Apartheid once and for all. Michael
Great idea, very minimal if any impact on our economy. Brian
Things don’t change Mori continue to push for separate government and autonomy all to be paid for by the rest of the N.Z. tax payers. When will National politicians ever come to the knowledge of this truth and say no. Ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth . Dene
Our environment needs all the help it can get from the rapacious onslaught of humanity. There are too few studies of how many fish can be hauled out of our oceans each year to allow this continual rape of the World’s oceans. We need to take a stand and employ some discipline both within ourselves and our political system. Charles
The accursed trio of Turia, O’Regan and Solomon with their “bovine droppings” claims. Wake up National. to the apartheid type of government they have created. Monica
Certainly do support the establishment of the reserve. Should post the maori leaders permanently on the Kermadecs. Although on second thoughts, they’d find a way to rape and pilqage those beautiful islands too. Ray
I have attended a presentation made by a marine scientist in favor of the creation of this reserve and can certainly see the merit in it. My only concern with the concept is that yet unrealised potential of marine smokers as an undersea mineral resource could be locked up forever, maybe unnecessarily. Peter
This is all very nice , but how is it going to be policed? Last time I looked the Navy were all tied up at the dock. The ministers head should roll! Gary
Of course. It helps us with our international marine obligations. Dennis
Nothing is protected as far as Maori are concerned when it comes to money the Government should tell all to get stuffed and carry on with protecting our Ocean. Ken
YES – absolutely must happen.. What have the Kermadec Islands management got to do with Maori ?? The Treaty does not give them any `rights’ to dictate government by them- the Maori stirrers .. Our NZ Govt. [for all people] – must not back down…. Elayne
NZ is lagging behind other nations in this important area of conservation. The Maoris, as usual, are being unhelpful and only see the Kermadec’s as a cash cow. Barry
We need a lot more marine sanctuaries. No body has a right to rape and pillage our oceans irrespective of their race. Brian
The rape and pillage of the sea cannot continue unabated. We see a possibly small percentage of Maori for what they are; relentless rent seekers. Peter
About time. Bryan
Absolutely imperative to do this for the world’s fisheries. David
Another example of greedy Maori leaders again wanting to rip off even more money from the NZ Government / NZ people for no valid reason & creating further racial separatism. david
Time to kick a maori bum or two is long overdue. Denis
The PM is using New Zealand conservation politics to feather his nest for the next UN position he seeks. NZ should prevent stepping stone politicians from achieving these goals as the NZ national interest is almost always abused. Despite the rhetoric NZ sits on the edge of economic failure. A change in economic policy is vital to minimise the crash. This will not happen without a change in government. Einstein once said, “Repeating the same formula over and over again and expecting a different answer always fails!” Frederick
When so much of the world resources are being over exploited protection of the Kermedec Ocean area is a must. Martin
It is a win win situation for the government and conservation of marine species. John
Do the right thing!! Neville
Maori had no idea those islands were there. Murray
A sensible decision. Peter
maori e korero ki arero paoka (maori speak with forked tongue) Alan
Save it while we are able and stop the Trumped Up cries of Customary Rights. Get it sorted and settled while we can No to Customary Rights and Yes to a Sanctuary. Laurel
A no brainer and to hell with the Maori elite. Neville
Our world seems to be getting smaller and smaller, so we should do as much as possible to preserve as much as we can at the present time! Theodorus
Long-term it will benefit everyone, including the fishing industry and Maoris – but unfortunately they are too short-sighted to realise it. Gary
The government must stand fast on this issue and not succumb to Maori pressure to allow them special rights to fish in the sanctuary. Wiliam
Good for NZ. Maurice
Wake up Mr Key. These greedy,minutely Maori are trying it on again. Time to stop pandering to them and start protecting the rights of future generations of ALL coloured NZers (including NON Maori). Carolyn
I support the sanctuary for environmental reasons , but hope John Key & his government did do the right thing as per the letter of the law and the Treaty settlement made. He imposes extremely onerous legislation on the rest of us to the benefit of Maori, so the man who lives by the sword should die by the sword! It shouldn’t all be about his ego and status at the UN. Fiona
Support Neil
Very good for our natural environment. Very good for NZ’s international image. Very good to be able to create such a large marine reserve. Richard
Good for regeneration of fish species. Owen
If the National Government does not reject the fishing claim made by senior Maori leaders then we MUST KICK THEM OUT AT THE NEXT ELECTION. Maori tribal elite will never stop trying to find ways to get yet more money from the Government. We must find and elect politicians who believe in having a non-racist Government for New Zealand. Ernest
And the Maori have no claim. Trevor
A great reserve which may supply food for thousands of years to come, starting in the year 2300. Allan
It is the right of government to create this Sanctuary. Ken
Very important that we follow through with this. Wendy
Again we have a racial group pushing their bandwagon & trying to win points. The fact that the government will not give compensation must have upset them. Brian
Common Sense. David
Again the Maori elite show their true colours. When through all their history have the Maori ever been conservationists? Any cause to line the pockets of the iwi and therefore top echelon whist calling for more tax payer money to sort out the maori social problems for which they are somewhat responsible for and do nothing about. Total hypocrisy. Andy
As usual Maori are calling for special treatment under NZ’s APARTHEID system. Geoff
Perhaps now, more of the public will realize Maoris real intention. GRAB MONEY WHEREVER YOU CAN. Once again, the point is missed. Maori only had dug-out canoes for fishing. They would not have gone any where near the Kermadecs for fish. Having contributed nothing toward modern technology, they suddenly believe modern fishing boats are theirs. Had a very good Maori friend call in the other day. His comments, ” I’m absolutely sick of this B.S.” How can 1% of a once proud race, hold the country to ransom.? As for the tax haven. No-body has mentioned the TAX FREE status of businesses owned by Maori elite. This is another can of worms that should be torn wide open.. A.G.R.
Such a sanctuary is a necessity, and woe betide anybody caught fishing in it. There are plenty of fish (seemingly!) without taking it from that area, surely, unless we are fishing the whole seas around us out, then God help us all!. Why must we keep up the rape, ravage and plunder without any thought for the future? Kevan
Having lived on Raoul Island for over a year I am aware just how pristine the environment is. I have sailed round many of the Kermadec chain of islands and was astounded by the natural beauty and clear, unfished waters. It would be a disaster to allow such a wonderful eco-system to become decimated by commercial fisheries and the resultant oil/chemical discharge polution. The whole time I was on Raoul and additional research over the past 40 years I have located no evidence what so ever of Maori habitation on any of the island Kermadec island chain. The Maori claim is absurd and their alleged historical occupancy in error. Greed and a political agenda is their motive and it must be prevented at all cost. Bruce
Given the track record of “iwi” favoured past “kangaroo” courts, I would hope the government has the balls to stand by its convictions and give them zilch! Bruce
Makes sense. Peter
Maori whining again about an area that they virtually don’t fish anyway. We must preserve the ocean creatures. John
Definitely. Angela
If the Moari’s are upset the I am for it. Wayne
I fully support this new marine reserve and conservation of all our marine environment. fish species should be a high priority for everyone including the Maori elite! Greedy Maori fisheries trusts should keep well away from all Marine reserves that way there really will be fish for everyone in the future. No one race owns these or our Fresh water! June
Yes leave the kermadecs to the fish and gulls James
The Maori elite need to pull their heads in. Over a period of time their hidden agenda has been exposed in many passed issues. It is, by and large, all about money. These elite are well nick named: ‘THE FAT CATS’. Arthur
Maoris the guardians of the environment? Yeah, right. Don’t see any moas running around and the wood pigeons were only saved by pakeha intervention. Mitch
NZ needs to also seek other opportunities to protect our oceans — from what is shamefully being taken from them and from what is being “poured” into them. G
How could one not agree to this action. Barbara
Protection for our children’s future. Audrey
Yes. In spite of those believing the myth about having “fished there traditionally” so eloquently put on their behalf in the media. Andrew
Who is going to police it. Clark
NZ should be leading the world on conserving fish breeding areas for the protection of future fish stocks. The Maori challenge to this indicates they are only interested in money and “clicking the ticket” on another resource that is for all NZers. Keith
The overfishing of this planet’s oceans is at a critical level already. Vicki
Hopefully this may prevent large fishing companies from raping the area. Also again on the maori deal, as always they only want the money and to hell with rest. When will the Govt wake up and stop pandering to them. David
Maori have no right to object. Kermadecs were only annexed in 1887. Tom
Maori already have more than enough fishing rights. Seems like it all about money! JACKIE
Should have been done a lot earlier. Donald
Believe the iwi is a fairweather friend & NEEDS to grown up & realize THEY are KIWI’S NOT seperate people. Cindy
Without iwi involvement. John
Too much greed with commercialisation – we must preserve nature for future generations. Elaine
In 1967 I spent over a week on a fishing vessel prospecting for crayfish round the various Kermadec Islands. We did not catch a single one neither did we catch any fish as far as I recall. Years later, I made several more trips to the Kermadecs on the oceanographic ship Tangaroa and went on several dives. The only fish I can recall was a massive grouper. Perhaps the reason no Marori fishing outfit has caught any fish round the Kermadecs in the past 10 years is a lack of fish. Jon
The maori elete are blood suckers. I have sailed past the Kermadecs 9 times. I would be surprised if any Maori had set foot on Raoul island. Jeff
Its in the interest of ALL people living in New Zealand and in no way should be considered as encroaching on any peoples rights… Peter
This will help to ensure there will still be fish to catch in the future. Bryan
Yes as this opinion piece suggests, it has always been about ethnic elitism and the power and money this achieves . If someone can firmly confirm that the TOW is a partnership between the crown and iwi then I might rethink my summation. Steve
Maori cant have everything their way, getting really sick of them wanting everything. Graeme
New Zealand needs reserves like this. Maori still acting like spoilt kids!!! Ian
Of course, why wouldn’t I? Kerin
Its the want want want from Maori there should be no go on this case. Warren
This proposed reserve is a great idea and the current lack of fishing in the area means that it can be established with little impact on New Zealanders. The Maori leaders opposition shows them for what they are, real hypocrites. Ray
The Maori opposition to the Sanctuary makes a total mockery of their ‘We are the true Guardians’ claim. Sylvia
Whatever happened to the idea that maori are the great conservationists? John
Immediately – no more bulls*#t!!! Colin
Oh how lucky we are to have such an averous group looking after our interests in wildlife protection. Michael
Its a UN plot, closing up food chains everywhere. However Fuk will have its day as radiation is now widespread throughout the pacific and food chain fish wont be worth a cent. So lets see, that’s the Pacific stuffed, the Mex Gulf stuffed, and the Atlantic stuffed as the gulf stream has stopped because of the Mex gulf stuffed by oil and Corexit…hunker down east coast US and Britain, its going to get colder. Once the word is out our fish grounds are stuffed goodbye eating fish. Wayne
A great idea as Maori will never do anything there and it is another chance for them to moan and complain. John
There are still many other fishing areas. Jim
If the IWI are against it then I am all for it. Colin
Absolutely. The maoris again trying to hold the govt to ransom over issues that the majority of the population support. This govt is too weak to tell them the way it is going to be, afraid of losing support from the maori party and there clamouring for “claims” against the majority of the population who are the one’s who contribute the most funds to the country’s economy. The named group of protesters is always the same, nothing but greed and an attitude that the world owe’s them everything they care to name. Key and the cabinet need to tell them the facts that we will not bend to their racist demands! David
Fully supportive of this extended sanctuary area. Disappointing that prominent persons are displaying so little intelligence in this matter. Delia
Maori do show there true colour by there actions. Big noise, very little substance. I do not understand why anyone listens to their bleating. Johan
Time to tell THEM to get lost. Peter
Absolutely – we all know that this type of sanctuary is now the only way to protect the world’s fish resources from total destruction by countries hell-bent on achieving exactly that – but do we have a Navy capable of enforcing the rules? I don’t think so – time for money to be spent on empowering the Navy and the Air Force, John! Graeme
I doubt that Maori ever fished the Kermadec area I do not think they would have paddled their whaka that far so how can they claim traditional fishing rights on the area. Digby
We should be giving the oceans a fair deal and not abusing every sensible idea put forward. Also this will increase fish stocks which then spread. Money in the way of compensation, “for what” to Maori is but another flick of fingers for their own coffers. Elizabeth
We need reserves where fish can breed unmolested. When the move out of those reserves that can the be caught but it leaves some breeding stock behind and does not wipe out the species Arthur
It’s a no brainer!! Maddi
As with many treaty of waitangi claims/settlements there was little justification for the largess bestowed on Maori in the fisheries settlement based as it was on the tow tribunal’s rubber stamp. There is absolutely no validity in their claim against the government in respect of the Kermadec sanctuary. Alan
I vote yes just show Maori that they can not have every thing. Russell
Another attempted power and money grab on the part of Maori – its not going to stop until someone has the guts to tell them to get lost!! Owen
Anything to reduce the commercial overfishing or our oceans must be good. Stuart
Maori are conservationists ? Yeah right! Ross
I can’t see what this has to do with the racist comment by part maori entities, get rid of the treaty as it is so outmoded now that there are no full bloods left and it is creating racial division mainly by our gutless politicians trying to be PC???? IAN
Just waiting for the latest rewrite of history showing maori used to regularly paddle up to the kermadecs for fishing trips. John
A sanctuary in the Kermadecs placed now, before it starts being heavily fished is a great idea. Robbie
Yes I strongly support the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. Tom
More & more of our oceans are being plundered. We need to protect more. Lois
It’s surely a no-brainer, isn’t it? Creating a sanctuary anywhere in today’s exploitative environment must be a priority. Maori opposition perpetuates the lie that they were the ‘original conservationists’ in NZ. If that was true, show me a moa. Alan
Maori denial again Liars and cheats and weak National government Lance
Damn the Maoris and the illegal Japanese fishing. Mike
This is long overdue, and is hopefully only the beginning! Mark
I sincerely wish that we had a Government that had the balls to tell Maori to get lost on this issue and many others. Mike
Sick and tired of these barely browns greed. Chris
Did Maori ever paddle a waka to the kermadecs catch a fish the paddle back Yeh Right. Allen
The kermadec’s are a breading ground for the much larger fishery in our area of the Pacific and must be left as a sanctuary. Charles
Let’s hope this excellent proposal goes ahead. Jan
We need areas where ftsh can breed wtihout interferance to boost stock, maori are just being Greedy and wanting every thing for themselves. Colin
No special treatment to Iwi. Kay
The fishing stock has been raped for long enough Peter
Maori should be allowed to continue traditional access using traditional waka and whale-bone hooks. Ross
Just do it and ignore those fair weather friends a.k.a certain Maori leaders who only ever have their noses in the gravy trough. Kevin
Again it’s clear that Maori Iwi leaders want more and more. The Government must stand up to them to halt, or at least slow down, the racially dividing attitude of Maori leaders, including the Maori Party. The Maori Party, aided and abetted by Iwi leaders, seems to have far more political influence than its percentage of votes. Laurence
In addition to this, the commercial catch should be reduced to ensure sustainability. Bernard
It’s ALL about MOOLAH nothing else. Glyn
Fish need some place to be safe and to rest just like us. We like to be in a safe place. Robert
Perfect place for a reserve, but wish we had better resources to police it (armed jet fighters). Dave
The more sancuaries the better. Karl
Yes, mankind has to think longterm if ocean fishing is to be sustainable. Sue
I am sure I heard one of the panel state “Maori right to develop fishing in the Kermadecs”.The mighty dollar speaks again. Jill
When will national learn that maori will cause there down fall! Michael
Kermadecs are a unique ecosystem. There a “plenty more fish in the sea”. Did ancient maori live there?; did they even know of the Kermacec’s existence? Hugh
Great initiative and maori interests only bleating because want to clip the ticket. Site never on their historical radar simply shows their true colors – not and never were conservationists or environmentalists. ROB
Vested interests deny rights for sanctuary, of all types ! Bill
Yes but only if Maori do not have to be compensated due to their ludicrous attitude. Fine bunch, the so called super conservationists. Folkert
Great move. Robert
For future generations. Graeme
It’s a sensible, intelligent measure. The real pity is that some so-called Maori leaders are seeking to exploit their non-position. Jim
Fishing was not a mainstay of the Maori economy pre European NZ – particularly from unrefrigerated waka. Mark
It had to happen. Tim
Yes, for NZ to make this an ocean sanctuary is a good idea. Maori are showing their true colours by opposing it. John
The idea is a good one but the process could have been better. Steve
If iwi were really the ‘guardians’ they claim to be, they would be leading the support for the sanctuary plan, not opposing it. It just shows how much they have pulled the wool over our eyes. Wendy
Nick Smith has really stuffed this one up. Andrew
Maori tribes are not guardians – Sonny Tau can testify to that! Brian