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The Government has completed consultation with Maori on removing the mixed ownership companies from the State Owned Enterprises (SOE) Act and will make decisions on new legislation in coming weeks, Finance Minister Bill English and SOE Minister Tony Ryall said today.
"We've completed 10 hui around the country and received about 200 written submissions. It's been an excellent process where Ministers and iwi and hapu have been able to exchange views," the ministers said.
"We've been clear all along the Government won't walk away from its Treaty obligations. We entered this process with an open mind and we've listened closely to the views that have been aired.
"Cabinet is yet to decide the exact details of the new legislation, but in the interests of working towards a satisfactory solution we've indicated to the Waitangi Tribunal and the Iwi Leaders Group the direction of our thinking.
"Subject to Cabinet decisions, the Government intends to include a provision in the new legislation reflecting the concepts of the existing section 9 of the SOEs Act. This preference was clearly expressed to us at the consultation hui."
Section 9 is a general clause requiring that the Crown does not act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
"Cabinet will make final decisions on the exact details of the new legislation in coming weeks.
"We've also outlined to the Tribunal and the Iwi Leaders Group our clear view that the sale of SOE shares won't prejudice iwi rights and interests in water, which will be dealt with through a separate process," the Ministers said.