Provision for input and participation of tangata whenua in
fisheries management –relationship between Ministry
of Fisheries (MFish) and mid-north iwi; (2) Hokianga Accord
Hui – Naumai Marae
||Thank you for your two letters each dated 19 July 2006.
||Both letters address related subjects and I therefore propose
responding to both in this letter.
||For differentiation between your two letters I will refer
to them as:
and participation letter which followed the meeting of
representatives from Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai, Te
Roroa and Te Uri O Hau with you and your colleagues on 30
June 2006 in Whangarei and my email to you dated 2nd July
I received my copy
of this letter on the 19th July, on the eve of the Hokianga
Accord hui at Naumai marae.
Accord hui letter which was in response to my letter
to you of 20 June 2006.
Whilst this letter is also dated 19th July I did not receive
it until after I had returned home from the Hokianga Accord
hui at Naumai marae.
Your untimely response
to me on such important matters to Ngapuhi maintains the pattern
of MFish leaving it until the last minute to respond to previous
communications with accompanying embarrassment to my colleagues
and your staff.
||Before addressing the points raised by you in your letters
I refer to what appears to me as a misunderstanding on MFish’s
part concerning MFish representatives having departed Naumai
without having made arrangements to pay MFish’s share
of the fee payable to Naumai Marae for hosting the 20 and 21
July 2006 hui.
||My letter to you of 20 June 2006 clarified for you in the
plainest language that the Hokianga Accord:
||is an Iwi Regional Forum of mid Te Tai Tokerau comprising
Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, and Ngati Wai;
||qualifies with MFish’s model, as explained by your colleagues
at previous hui, for an Iwi Regional Forum as one of the ways
to assist with the Minister’s provision of input and participation
by tangata whenua into fisheries management;
by the previous Minister of Fisheries, Hon. David Benson-Pope
in a letter to me dated 12th August 2005; and
for the funding previously agreed by MFish for Hokianga Accord
||At the 30 June 2006 meeting in Whangarei after I had spoken
to you regarding the Hokianga Accord, you raised no objection
to MFish continuing this funding, and I left the meeting with
the clear understanding that MFish would honour its previous
agreement and commitment to pay its share of the hosting of
our mid-north iwi forum hui.
||The tikanga (principle) of manaaki (hospitality) embraces
generosity, courtesy and respect by the hosting marae, and the
departure by your colleagues from the hui without making arrangements
for payment of MFish’s share of the cost of hosting the
hui was embarrassing not only for the people of Naumai Marae,
but also to me as Chairman of the hui, and to iwi representatives
from Ngati Whatua and Ngati Wai who also attended the hui.
||I am aware that MFish happily pays the cost of pakeha Regional
Recreational Forums, including dinner and travel expenses and
therefore cannot understand the difficulty MFish appears to
have with its commitment to the Hokianga Accord Iwi Regional
Forum. By comparison, the meeting of the pakeha Regional Recreation
Forum I attended at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi on Monday
7th August 2006, would have cost taxpayers over $2000 for 16
people spending 5 hours together. No measurable results. At
the last Maori forum hui at Naumai Marae, the Hokianga Accord
assembled over 110 people on the first day alone with MFish
taking the premium time space for 6 hours and only hoping to
get away with paying a miserly $200. Where is the equity there?
I warned Jonathon Pearcy before he left the hui about not getting
koha mixed up with fees.
||MFish’s share of the hui fee has been paid on your behalf
to the Naumai Marae Committee, to enable them to pay for costs
incurred feeding the masses. Please let me have your cheque
for $1,500.00 payable to Te Runanga a iwi o Ngapuhi so that
I can reimburse those who generously made contributions on MFish’s
of input and participation
|Hokianga Accord – an Iwi Regional
||As already mentioned, in my letter to you of 20 June 2006
I took care in explaining how the Hokianga Accord, is a forum
comprising the iwi of mid Te Tai Tokerau, clearly complies with
the MFish model for an Iwi Regional Forum for this region, and
as such qualifies for Cabinet approved funding.
||Your statement, therefore in your Hokianga Accord hui letter
that it is clear that most mid-north leaders do not consider
that this vehicle is as yet their preferred option for input
and participation … and as such cannot be considered
to be an Iwi Regional Forum … is both of surprise
and disappointment to me.
||I do not recall, and my record of the 30 June 2006 meeting
in Whangarei does not disclose any statement by me, Naida Glavish
of Ngati Whatua, or Laly Haddon of Ngati Wai having said that
they do not regard the Hokianga Accord as an Iwi Regional Forum
as one of the ways for the Minister to provide for the input
and participation by tangata whenua of mid Te Tai Tokerau into
bigger picture fisheries management issues for that region as
explained below. As a matter of fact I was the only iwi leader
at that hui, all others were either representatives or employees
of different iwi/hapu organisations.
||Indeed in my email to you of 2 July 2006, principally for
the purpose of thanking you for hosting that meeting, I referred
to Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua developing together and assisting
Ngati Wai with input into fisheries management where so desired
by Ngati Wai whilst recognising your specific responsibilities
to Te Uri O Hau and Te Roroa for you to deal with according
to the protocols you have agreed with those hapu.
||As I also explained to you in my letter of 20 June 2006 the
extension of invitations to non-Maori representatives does not
and cannot disqualify the Hokianga Accord Iwi Regional Forum
from being an Iwi Regional Forum. Non-Maori representatives
(from various recreational fishing and conservation groups)
attend the hui as manuhiri (guests) having speaking rights only
as agreed to by the host marae.
||We are getting mixed messages from you as to how and where
you propose the provision of input and participation by the
Minister into fisheries management by tangata whenua.
||We initially suggested that the Minister make provision for
input and participation by individual iwi. Because of constraints
on MFish resources, you (MFish) then suggested the Iwi Regional
Forum model. As explained by you the Hokianga Accord Iwi Regional
Forum fits that model and we put the Hokianga Accord forward
to you, in part, to assist the Minister in making such provision.
||You now say as a reason for MFish not considering the Hokianga
Accord as an Iwi Regional Forum that most Mid-North (iwi) leaders
do not see the Hokianga Accord as yet their preferred option
for input and participation (paragraph 4 of your Hokianga
Accord letter), and that the majority of iwi leaders are currently
of the view that the primary relationship should be between
individual governance entities and (MFish) rather than
through a single Iwi Regional Forum while not ruling out the
possibility of (iwi) working together with (MFish) in some areas
(paragraph 2 of your input and participation letter).
||In summary, our preferred option is for the provision of input
and participation by individual iwi. However, as mentioned above,
you would not arrange for the Minister to provide for input
and participation that way. Having acceded to your request by
putting forward the Hokianga Accord to assist the Minister in
making such provision, in part, by the collective approach you
now revert to input and participation by individual iwi by saying
that is what iwi want.
||This change of approach by MFish is holding up and delaying
the provision of input and participation by us and is unacceptable
to us. Please therefore let me have MFish’s unequivocal
statement that the Hokianga Accord is recognised by MFish as
an Iwi Regional Forum as one of the ways of enabling the Minister
to carry out his statutory obligation to provide for input into
|Individual iwi/hapu v collective iwi/hapu
||The Crown is our Treaty partner. The Minister’s statutory
obligation to provide for the input and participation of tangata
whenua into fisheries management is an example of the Crown’s
on going obligation to Maori to develop policies to help recognise
the use and management practices of Maori in their exercise
of non-commercial fishing rights as provided in the 1992 Deed
of Settlement and the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims)
Settlement Act 1992.
||In this context, and in further response to your previous
requests at hui and in your letter for our feedback on our objectives
in fisheries management input, I reiterate that Ngapuhi’s
desire is to have sufficient fish stocks in the water so our
whanau can feed their families.
||To that end, in relation to the bigger picture fisheries management
issues such as:
||how best to raise stock levels of traditional fish species
of cultural and social importance to tangata whenua and so provide
kai for us; and
||those relating to customary fishing and customary tools,
||Ngapuhi sees a role for a collective approach with MFish through
the Hokianga Accord Iwi Regional Forum as one way of the Minister
making provision for the input and participation of tangata
whenua into fisheries management. So too, as I am informed does
||In this respect we appear to be in agreement on the approach
you refer to in paragraph 2 of your input and participation
letter, namely, it may be appropriate .. to work collectively
with (MFish) on some issues, but this…should not undermine
the individual relationships …where (MFish) has already
developed protocols with governance entities…….
However where MFish
has a proposal for a sustainability measure in relation to
a particular fish stock in which individual iwi have a particular
non-commercial interest, then as I have stated in previous
correspondence to you and to your colleagues at hui, individual
iwi will wish the Minister to provide for the input and participation
of individual iwi.
As also previously advised, I see that taking place on a case
by case basis.
||I make these observations in the context of the purpose of
the Fisheries Act, which as pointed out in my letter of 20 June
2006, is to:
||provide for the utilisation - conserving, using,
enhancing and developing fisheries resources to enable people
to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being,
||while ensuring sustainability - maintaining the potential
of fisheries resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable
needs of future generations.
||In this regard, it was made clear by expert speakers [and
MFish representatives] who addressed the Naumai hui, that MFish
in its management of our fisheries resources has [in recent
times] emphasised the economic well-being component arguably
of some, to the social and cultural detriment of many.
||This imbalance is one of the bigger picture fisheries management
issues I wish to see addressed with MFish through the Hokianga
Accord Iwi Regional Forum.
|Objectives based management
||Your input and participation letter advises that MFish is
moving towards an objectives-based management approach based
on fisheries plans, and that the [traditional interactions]
between tangata whenua and MFish based on [consultation] over
individual management proposals is unlikely to prove satisfactory
for iwi/hapu and MFish.
||More particularly you refer to:
||the approach based on fisheries plans which will be based
on groups of fish stock over relatively larger areas (at least
QMAs) with the likelihood of longer planning terms;
||the development of iwi plans that address customary,
recreational and commercial objectives, and for these objectives
to be introduced into fisheries plans;
||smaller working teams with representatives from iwi/hapu and
||Our initial reaction is that we see some merit in this suggestion,
particularly if we are involved in the design of the necessary
structures with the intention of avoiding the re-occurrence
of issues relating to how and where the Minister provides for
input and participation. We would be interested to explore the
details of this with you further.
|Sustainability rounds v fishery plans
||As you are aware, the requirement for the Minister to provide
for input and participation, for which the Minister must
take appropriate measures, make adequate preparation, and arrange
and supply the necessary resources, is different process from
and a standard higher than consultation.
||I have assumed that your reference in paragraph 4 of your
input and participation letter to consultation over individual
management proposals is a reference to sustainability rounds
of individual fish stocks, often on an annual basis.
Your stated preference is now for
longer term planning to be achieved through fisheries plans
on groups of stocks over larger areas (at least QMAs).
||However, as I see it, your new proposal for iwi plans, fisheries
plans and working teams will take some time to implement and
will be one mechanism for the provision of input and participation
into future fisheries management decisions. For example, I am
aware of fisheries plans having been a focus of MFish for some
time but with few such plans in place at present.
||Notwithstanding MFish’s desire to adopt this new approach,
the requirement for the Minister to provide for input and
participation remains for sustainability decisions this
year, next year and subsequent years. Moreover, the requirement
for the Minister to provide for input and participation
for fisheries plans does not remove that requirement in respect
of other sustainability decisions in the meantime.
||My present concerns with the iwi plans/fisheries plans approach
||the introduction by MFish of another process will further
delay and prevent the provision by the Minister of input and
participation into fisheries management to raise the levels
of fish stocks of traditional social and cultural importance
to iwi/hapu so that we can feed ourselves;
||the time, resources and cost to both MFish and iwi/hapu in
developing fisheries plans is likely to be at the expense of
ignoring the immediate task of rebuilding fish stocks for Maori
and non Maori alike.
||As pointed out in my letter to you of 20 June 2006, we are
frustrated at the time it is taking MFish to decide how and
where (form) MFish (for the Minister) is going to provide for
Ngapuhi’s input and participation into fisheries management
rather than actually providing for (substance) such input and
participation. To achieve our objective of sufficient traditional
fish stocks in the water so our whanau can feed their families,
iwi and hapu desire more action and less words from MFish in
the provision of input and participation by tangata whenua into
||While MFish continues to run this way and that way on how
and where it will make such provision, no provision is made
by the Minister, and our people struggle to catch their kai.
||It is important that this meeting be held urgently to advance
the commencement of the provision by the Minister of input and
participation by iwi of mid Te Tai Tokerau into fisheries management.
Please provide me with a range of dates which suit you for that
||I look forward to hearing from you.
Raniera (Sonny) Tau
Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi