The Aquaculture Settlement
The Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 (Settlement Act) provides a full and final settlement of all Maori claims to commercial aquaculture space created since 21 September 1992. Under the Act, the Crown is responsible for delivering the settlement.
The Settlement Act provides iwi with the equivalent of 20 percent of all new space created after 1 January 2005 – the new space obligation. The Settlement Act also provides iwi with the equivalent of 20 percent of existing space created between 21 September 1992 and 1 January 2005 – the pre-commencement space obligation.
In 2011 the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Act 2011 (the Amendment Act) was established. These reforms remove the requirement for Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) to be established before new space for aquaculture activities can be applied for. Because of this, a new mechanism to deliver the new space settlement obligation was developed. However, the reforms do not affect how the pre-commencement space obligation is delivered.
The Amendment Act amended the Settlement Act to enable the new space settlement obligation to be delivered on a regional basis through regional agreements, or when an agreement is not reached within the specified time frame, through a default option.
Features of the Amendment Act.
- The Crown is responsible for delivering the settlement;
- The 20% obligation established in the Settlement Act remains unchanged;
- The settlement will be delivered on a regional basis, through agreements between the Crown and iwi;
- The Crown must ensure that the Takutai Trust, who is acting on behalf of iwi, is provided with settlement assets that are representative of 20% of the new space in one or more of the following ways:
- Entering into one or more regional agreements (s.10 of the Settlement Act) or a default option (s.11 of the Settlement Act) if a regional agreement cannot be reached;
- The provision of exclusive authorisations to apply to occupy space in the coastal marine area for the purpose of aquaculture activities and payment required by s.13(4) of the Settlement Act;
- The payment of financial equivalent of that space.