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Accord's Letter to MFish

Hokianga Accord Letter to MFish

By Sonny Tau

5 April 2006

Hui Report

Appendix Seven



Mr GT (Stan) Crothers

Deputy Chief Executive

Ministry Of Fisheries

PO Box 1020



Tena koe Stan


Provision for input and participation of tangata whenua in fisheries management – engagement between Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) and tangata whenua

1. Thank you for your prompt response to my letter to you of 4 April 2006.
Your Concerns
2. I note that your concerns with the iwi forum we have put together and called the Hokianga Accord are:
2.1 That you do not consider that this forum complies with the MFish iwi forum model to enable MFish to discharge its statutory obligations to tangata whenua on fisheries management matters;
2.2 That the iwi forum ought not be restricted to input and participation on sustainability measures from a non-commercial perspective;
2.3 With the content of the agenda set for the hui at Whitiora Marae, Te Tii on 6 and 7 April 2006;
2.4 With MFish’s role at the hui concerning MFish’s proposed proportional allocation and fisheries plans project;

With the videoing or recording of the business discussed at the hui, and the presence of media.

3. Even though this is the eleventh hour, I will respond to each of your concerns separately in time to meet your deadline of “before Thursday.”
Iwi forum


As you are personally aware, we adopted, at a previous hui, the name Hokianga Accord for the regional iwi forum of the mid north.Iwi in attendance at that hui were, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua and Ngati Wai. 
5. I explained in my letter to you of 4 April 2006 that all non-Maori non-commercial fishing interests who have attended, and will in the future at our invitation attend these hui, are manuhiri (guests and visitors) of iwi. 

As I also explained, we appreciate your wish to detail as far as possible the housekeeping detail as to how the business of the forum will be conducted including manuhiri invited by us. In this regard, if I understand you correctly, your suggestion is that a Terms of Reference relating to the relationship between iwi and manuhiri be attached to the MOU agreed between iwi and MFish.

7. Furthermore, if it assists you, I am happy to request iwi that they consider that our hui be held under the banner of Hokianga Iwi [Accord/Forum?] whilst recognising that, this concession to MFish, if granted by iwi, is of form only and not substance. The fact is that we already have an iwi forum in mid Te Tai Tokerau to discuss fisheries management issues.
8. For this reason as I see it there is absolutely no need for iwi to meet with MFish at MFish’s Whangarei office to discuss the need for a forum in mid Te Tai Tokerau, the objectives of the forum, and the manner in which it will operate to discharge MFish’s statutory obligations to tangata whenua on fisheries management matters. 
9. As stated we already have an iwi forum attended by MFish representatives to date without issue and which, as I explained in my letter of 4 April 2006, complies with the MFish regional iwi forum model and as such qualifies for the Government agreed funding. Stan, nothing has changed.
10. I am always ready to meet with you on how we may best strengthen and develop our relationship so that MFish can fulfil its statutory obligations to tangata whenua on fisheries management matters, but I repeat that MFish must not hold up or delay its performance of the Government’s obligations to tangata whenua whilst MFish decides with whom and where it will meet for that purpose. 
Input and participation
11. I note that you recognise that input and participation of tangata whenua on non-commercial issues is a key role for our iwi forum but that it need not be restricted to the discussion of wider fisheries management issues that relate to iwi.

In that regard we welcome benefiting from MFish fisheries services and research planning offered by you and would be grateful if you could provide more detail.

13. As explained the iwi forum we have developed complies with MFish’s own regional iwi forum model and is not as you put it a different model. I repeat, the forum comprises iwi of mid Te Tai Tokerau to which other New Zealanders with common interests in fisheries management are invited by iwi as manuhiri.
Iwi forum hui agenda                                                                                                  TOP
14. All matters on the agenda relate to fisheries management in which I expect MFish would be interested and keen to participate. 
MFish’s Shared Fisheries Project and Fisheries Plans
15. Regarding MFish’s presentations on the Shared Fisheries Project and Fisheries Plans , I note that both of these items of business were included by Carl Ross in his email making suggestions for the agenda.

In your advice paper to the Minister (16/12/05) you clearly stated that MFish would engage with tangata whenua in the preparation of the public discussion document.

17. Our understanding is that the public discussion paper is due to be released in June. For iwi participation to be meaningful, time is now of the essence.
18. Iwi believe that this hui will more than likely be our last opportunity to fathom the complex issues being considered. It is our wish to make good use of the manuhiri who have such an obvious wealth of experience in these complex issues. Furthermore, it is hoped that the panel discussion session will assist iwi in the formulation of our “view”. You will note that the Friday agenda has time set aside for the initiation of the “view” that MFish will receive in due course.
19. Iwi do not expect MFish officials to “engage in speculation as to any particular approach”. However, we DO expect senior MFish officials to give accurate answers to well founded questions when they have completed their presentations. If you decide that this is outside the role of senior MFish officials, so be it. A decision to forbid MFish officials to participate in a robust question and answer session undermines any faith iwi might have that MFish are sincere and intent upon engaging with tangata whenua on this kaupapa.  
Videoing or recording iwi forum hui and presence of media

As you know, the policy of iwi is that all proceedings be righteous, truthful and transparent (te tika, te pono me te tuwhera). I am sure you agree with that.

21. With that in mind I would be grateful if you would explain your reasons for not wanting an accurate record of proceedings kept? 

I look forward to receiving from you the cabinet guidelines for the development of CMRI’s, including MOU’s which form the basis of your views of what an input and participation process may look like.

23. Finally Stan, I would strongly advise that you re-read the letter from your then Minister, David Benson-Pope to Ngapuhi dated 12 August 2005.
24. I look forward to seeing you again at the hui tomorrow, or if you are unable to attend, your representatives.


Mauri Ora

Raniera T (Sonny) Tau


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