New Zealand Law Society - Māui’s Dolphin claim declined

Māui’s Dolphin claim declined

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The Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown's policy on the protection of the Māui's dolphin does not breach the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Tribunal has released The Priority Report concerning Māui's Dolphin. It finds that while the dolphin is a taonga to two North Island coastal hapū, the Crown had not breached its obligations under the Treaty.

The report concerns the claims of Ngāti Te Wehi and Ngāti Tahinga, two hapū based in and around Aotea Harbour on the west coast of the North Island. 

The claimants alleged the Crown's 2013 threat management plan for the Māui's dolphin did not give due regard to their interests as kaitiaki of the species.

The Tribunal found the Crown's threat management plan did not breach the Treaty. Based on the evidence it considered, the Tribunal was unable to conclude that the Crown's processes lacked good faith or that they were unreasonable.

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