[31 January/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Te Tau Ihu Customary Fisheries Forum Chair, Richard Bradley, has described MPI’s plan to relocate six salmon farms as “not honourable”.  The Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act in 2004 provided for iwi to have a 20% share in any new water space made available for aquaculture, however Mr Bradley notes that the government is not treating the proposed new farms as new spaces.  During Treaty Settlement negotiations, top of the South iwi were told that there was no further space available for aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds which resulted in iwi “begrudgingly” accepting a cash settlement. MPI is now proposing to override resource management plans to free up protected areas for aquaculture, an act Mr Bradley described as being in bad faith.  Mr Bradley suggested as the cash settlement has not been received it could be returned for a 20% interest in the new water space.