MFish Letter to Ngati Whatua
By Stan Crothers
19 July 2006
Naida Glavish, Chairman
Allen Pivac, Chief Executive Officer
193 Lower Dent Street
Dear Ms Glavish and Mr Pivac
INPUT AND PARTICIPATION OF TANGATA WHENUA IN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
- First, let me thank you all for attending the meeting on 30 June 2006, in Whangarei. I found the discussion at the meeting informative and constructive. I hope that meetings between Mid-North leaders and the Ministry can continue over the next few months so that we can develop a sound working relationship and set a firm foundation for meaningful input and participation by your governance entities into fisheries management processes.
- From the discussions at the meeting it seemed clear that there is a range of views on the best approach to provide for tangata whenua input and participation into Ministry processes. Most of you are currently of the view that the primary relationship should be between individual governance entities and the Ministry. It may be appropriate for your organisation’s to work collectively with the Ministry on some issues, but this collective work should not undermine the individual relationships. This is particularly important where the Ministry has already developed protocols with governance entities through the settlement of historical treaty grievances.
- As we indicated to you, the limitations on the Ministry’s resources are likely to restrict our ability to support both intensive individual working relationships between iwi and the Ministry and collective working arrangements. Achieving the right balance between the two approaches – within resource constraints – will be a challenge, and I expect that the right balance may change over time.
- As we indicated to you, the Ministry is moving towards an objectives-based management approach based on fisheries plans. These fisheries plans will generally be based on groups of fish stocks over relatively larger areas (at least QMAs), and will likely have longer planning terms than are currently used by the Ministry. In this context I consider that the traditional interactions between tangata whenua and the Ministry, based on consultation over individual management proposals, is unlikely to prove satisfactory for you or the Ministry.
- In the Ministry’s view, a better approach for both parties would be to develop iwi plans that address your customary, recreational and commercial objectives, and for you to work with the Ministry to introduce those iwi objectives into fisheries plans. We think this is best approached by establishing smaller working teams comprising appropriate people from each governance entity and the Ministry to develop and implement a commonly agreed work programme. The work programme could involve collecting information to incorporate into iwi plans, as well as assisting in the development of the plans themselves, if this was considered appropriate. The work teams could then develop the best approach to incorporate the objectives of the iwi plans into fisheries plans.
- The working teams could also identify areas where it would be more effective for the governance entities to work collectively to input into fisheries management processes, and areas where the relevant governance entity considers an individual relationship with the Ministry would better meet its objectives.
- We would like to explore further with Mid-North leaders the best approach to provide for your organisation’s’ input and participation into fisheries management. While we consider the work team approach to be useful, we are open to any approach that would provide for effective input and participation into fisheries management, within the constraints of the Ministry’s resources.
- We found the approach taken at the Whangarei meeting to be very useful and would like to maintain the momentum of those discussions. With that in mind, I propose to convene a further meeting of Mid-North leaders within the next month to continue to progress these matters. My staff will contact you all to organise a meeting date and venue that will be suitable to you all. I look forward to meeting you all again and continuing our work together.
Noho ora mai
Deputy Chief Executive