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Tom Roa, Chair of Te Arataura, Waikato Tainui’s executive has welcomed news that the ten week lock-out of Horotiu workers is drawing to a dramatic close.

“We are all extremely pleased to see this day finally arrive,” said Tom Roa.

“We extend our congratulations to Talleys, AFFCO management, the union and all those involved in bringing about a resolution to this dispute. We also recognise and appreciate the tremendous community support for the workers and their families.

“It is a great day for the workers and their whaanau, who have suffered so much and we congratulate Talleys in recognising their responsibilities regarding the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

“It is perhaps an even greater day for Iwi.

“A united Iwi effort, fuelled by the flaxroots and driven by a committed and dedicated leadership has shown what can be achieved when all agree on the kaupapa,” said Mr Roa.

“The economic and political power of a united Iwi Leaders Forum was instrumental in brokering what we hope is a robust and fair agreement that will end the hardships being inflicted on our people.

“I commend those Iwi leaders who were able to bring the parties together. I believe this may be the first time Iwi have been involved in the process of industrial dispute resolution.

“The flexing of Iwi muscle in this instance can be seen as a force for good and a pointer to the future. Iwi power is not something to be feared, but welcomed.

Mr Roa said that historically there had always been a fear of the power of Iwi borne out of misunderstanding and concern that Maaori aspirations would be achieved at the expense of Paakeha.

“The truth is, we are all in the same waka and great things will be achieved when we learn to work together,” said Mr Roa.

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