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Draft MOU

Hokianga Accord

Draft Kaupapa Whakahaere

(how the Hokianga Accord will operate)



Ngati Whatua

Ngati Wai

in partnership with

non-commercial fishing interest groups and individuals


The Ministry of Fisheries

(Te Tautiaki i nga tini a Tangaroa)

Hokianga Report - Appendix Four

10 November 2005

Preamble Tikanga
Background Forum make up


Minister's obligations Glossary



Te Tiriti O Waitangi is the founding document of Aotearoa, New Zealand which established the unique relationship between Tangata Whenua and the Crown.  Tangata whenua and other non-commercial fishing representatives, as contributors to the Hokianga Accord acknowledge to each other, that Te Tiriti O Waitangi is the basis upon which each party wishes to interact with the Crown or its agencies as a good treaty partner.  Te Tiriti O Waitangi gives rise to this Kaupapa Whakahaere to the Minister of Fisheries.


A chance meeting between tangata whenua and recreational fishing representatives at a select committee presentation in 2003, where Tangata Whenua were making submissions to the Marine Reserves Bill led to the development of a close working relationship between recreational fishers and Tangata Whenua.  After many hours of discussion tangata whenua realised that when Maori went fishing to feed their whanau, they were categorised as recreational fishers.  It was therefore common sense to collectively discuss how tangata whenua could address matters of common interest with recreational fishers.

An inaugural hui of recreational fishers and Tangata Whenua was held at Whitiora Marae, Te Tii, from 29th April to 1 May 2005 which set the platform for all tangata whenua and recreational fisheries hui held since then in Te Tai Tokerau.  The most significant outcome of that hui was the commitment of both tangata whenua and recreational fishing organisations and representatives to work together to achieve the objective of "Kia maha atu nga ika i roto i te wai" or "more fish in the water."

Although members from Whangaroa and Te Rarawa were in attendance at that hui, they were unable to commit to the joint approach with non- Maori recreational fishing and interests and agreed to reporting back to their various iwi organisations to seek support for the developing relationships with non- Maori recreational fishing interests.  The representatives from these iwi attended the first hui at Whakamaharatanga Marae and committed to join with Te Rarawa in setting up their own forum.   Hapu representatives from Te Rarawa asked that they remain part of the Hokianga Accord as they lived in the Hokianga and saw a natural alliance with the Hokianga Accord.

Whilst all the activity around strengthening Maori and recreational fishing interest groups collaborative relationship was progressing, the Ministry of Fisheries was in the process of releasing it's new policy of appointing a Ministerial recreational fishers advisory group as well as various recreational and separate customary Maori fisheries forums elsewhere in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This policy was the catalyst for a contingent of Tangata whenua and recreational fishing representatives setting up a meeting to address what was seen at the time as a segregated approach to fisheries management, that is, customary Maori forums on the one hand, as well as recreational forums discussing very similar  issues on the other hand. 

It was the Ministry of fisheries promotion of this segregated approach that reinforced the commitment of the Hokianga Accord to ensure that tangata whenua and recreational fishing interest groups would work together in one forum to represent all customary Maori and non-commercial recreational fishing interests.

At the first Whakamaharatanga Marae hui held in July 2005, the thrust for an expanded recreational fishing and tangata whenua representation was achieved with the attendance of members of Option4, the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council, New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, Ngati Wai Trust Board, Te Runanga O Ngati Whatua, Te Runanga O Te Rarawa, Te Runanga O Whaingaroa, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi with many whanau and hapu also in attendance.  The reinforcement of the forum objective of "more fish in the water" was strongly supported.

Four weeks prior to that hui an email was sent to the Ministry of Fisheries putting a number of questions to the Ministry to answer at the hui.  Ministry representatives attended the hui and were capably led by Stan Crothers, There was an excellent exchange of ideas between the forum members and the Ministry of Fisheries and all questions put to the Ministry were answered in detail.  By the end of this hui there was a document presented to the hui spelling out how MFish and the Hokianga Accord would work together toward a better shared interest in the sustainable management of our fisheries.

The second Whakamaharatanga Hui was held in August 2005 as a platform to develop and consolidate the working relationship between tangata whenua and recreational fishing interest groups.  This hui was well attended with the parties again committing to a collaborative approach to the sustainable management of our fisheries.  Although other areas of Aotearoa New Zealand have opted to follow the path of separate forums for recreational fishing interest groups and Maori customary fishing interests forums, the Hokianga Accord intends pursuing collaborative approach.

Concerned that the Hokianga Accord may not be recognised by the Ministry as an official representative forum, recognition was sought from the Ministry.  On 23rd August 2005, Stan Crothers of the Ministry wrote to [state to whom] and assured the Hokianga Accord that the Hokianga Accord would be recognised as an official area forum under the Deed of Settlement of Maori fisheries issues. On 12 August 2005, the Minister of Fisheries, Hon. David Benson-Pope wrote to the chairman of Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi confirming Stan Crothers' statement of support in Stan Crothers' letter to the Hokianga Accord.

At the hui the Ministry presented for consideration by the Hokianga Accord a draft Memorandum of Understanding as to how the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry might work together relative to the Minister's performance of his s12 Fisheries Act 1996 obligations.

At the conclusion of the hui, a group of attendees committed to consider the draft Memorandum of Understanding and report back at the next hui.              

Objectives of the Hokianga Accord

Tangata whenua and other non-commercial fishing representatives contribute to the Hokianga Accord in their desire to have input and participation in relation to sustainability measures proposed by the Minister.  

It is part of a framework to assist the Minister to perform his obligations under s12 in relation to sustainability measures.

Whilst this kaupapa relates to the input and participation of tangata whenua concerning proposed sustainability measures tangata whenua have other rights and privileges statutory and otherwise in relation to fisheries management not addressed in this kaupapa.


The Ministers obligations - section 12

The effect of section 12 of the Fisheries Act 1996 is that before giving any approval and carrying out any of the functions specified in relation to sustainability measures specified in s12 (1) the Minister must:

  1. consult with such persons or organisations, including Maori, environmental, commercial and recreational interests whom the Minister considers are representative of such persons or organisations having an interest in the stock (defined in section 2) on the effects of the sustainability measure under consideration: s12 (1)(a); and
  2. provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in the stock, or an interest in the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment in the area concerned -: s12 (1) (b),

and have particular regard to Kaitiakitanga (as defined in s2 of the Act).


For this purpose, MFish (Cabinet) has proposed a grant of $20,000 per annum to each forum in any one year. If only one or two proposals were being considered by the Minister in a given year this might be sufficient, but in another year that amount could be inadequate.

So much will depend on the importance to tangata whenua non-commercial interests of the sustainability measure under consideration, and the complexity of the measure proposed as this will determine the level of input and participation required including outside resources to assist tangata whenua with their input and participation.

A possible approach for MFish could be to provide a basic annual grant to the Hokianga Accord for administration purposes, and further grants in respect of each proposal for which input and participation is required. For example, it is proposed that MFish provide the annual grant of $20,000 per annum for as an initial contribution towards secretarial and administration costs, with further financial provision for each sustainability measure under consideration by the Minister as claimed by the forum in a draft budget submitted to MFish to enable input and participate on each proposal.

It is important to the   Hokianga Accord that discussions with the Minister or with MFish on the provision and funding by the Minister neither divert the Minister (and MFish) from carrying out such obligations and functions nor delay the Minister (and MFish) from doing so in the meantime.

Moreover, whatever framework is adopted in relation to the performance by the Minister of his Section 12 obligations must neither constrain tangata whenua in making their input and participation, nor prevent or be a substitute for the Minister carrying out of those obligations.  

Tikanga of the Hokianga Accord

The Hokianga Accord is committed to "te tika, te pono me te tuwhera" at all times.   That is righteous, truthful and open.  

Furthermore, the Hokianga Accord expects the Ministry to be complete, accurate and timely in all of its dealings with the Forum.   Forum members will behave and act in the same manner.

Make up of the Forum

Over time the inclusive nature of this Forum will produce input and participation of a high calibre.

Participation of tangata whenua as individuals and representatives is fundamental to the existence of the Forum. Other non-commercial interest's contributions are deemed essential to compliment the categorisation of 99.99% of the time Maori go fishing to feed their whanau.

The functionality of the Forum will depend upon the aroha and availability of people with experience in tikanga Maori, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, customary fishing best practices, recreational fishing, fisheries management, science and marine protection experience. Other vital skills will include Forum secretariat, records management, public awareness, media relations, signage, grant applications, database management, project management, accounting,

It is expected that those attending and contributing to the Forum will agree that understanding of and adherence to "Forum Protocol Guidelines" is essential if high calibre input and participation is to be achieved and maintained.


Principles of the Hokianga Accord

The Forum has produced a set of principles that underpins all activities undertaken by the Forum.  These principles are:

  1. To promote the management of fisheries which are of importance to Maori and other non-commercial fishers at levels above or significantly above biomass required to produce the maximum sustainable yield (Bmsy).
  2. To promote the use of customary management tools where deemed appropriate
    • mätaitai
    • taiapure
    • Temporary closure 186a (Nth island)
    • Rahui
  1. To promote and support the development of Iwi/hapu Fisheries management plans.
  2. Whanau/hapu/takiwa initiatives and aroha. The Hokianga Accord will support local Customary fisheries management initiatives and seek to empower and encourage such initiative.   All outstanding Customary fishing issues with Ministry must be addressed as soon as possible. For the Hokianga Accord to be effective, these resolutions must be a priority for the Ministry with agreed upon action plans implemented and adequately resourced.
  3. To review the QMA within the respective rohe and pursue legislative change for identified at risk areas or fish species.
  4. To review and implement fishery input controls such as spatial controls, method restrictions, fish size and spatial separation of commercial fishers.
  5. To develop an information collection strategy to;
  • Measure effectiveness of management initiatives made by the forum
  • Assist in the management decision making process
  1. To participate in the research planning process, identify and promote priorities.
  2. To identify and recognise areas of commonality between non-commercial and customary fishing interests.
  3. To promote, measure and ensure the general public have a reasonable awareness and understanding of
  • The Crowns Statutory obligations to tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in fisheries or areas
  • Fisheries management issues
  • Marine protection issues
  • The purpose and role of the Forum

The Forum will

  • Implement means to measure these outcomes
  • Advise MFish on areas of weakness and potential solutions
  1. The Hokianga Accord wishes to highlight the absence of a framework and understanding of how the Marine Reserves Act (Bill) and the statutory obligations embodied within the 1996 Fisheries Act to have particular regards for Kaitiakitanga, will interact with and compliment each other. The Protection Standards approach to determining what is and what is not an MPA is in its infancy.
  2. The Marine Reserves Bill currently before Parliament in its present form is not compatible with the aims and aspirations of tangata whenua or the statutory obligations contained within the Fisheries Act 1996 to have particular regard to Kaitiakitanga.
  3. Outstanding issues raised in the paper entitled "Proportional Allocation of Fisheries Resources in NZ, August 2005" are to be addressed by Ministry and the Forum.


Glossary » »




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