Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
By Trish Rea
6 December 2005
A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori
10 - 11 November 2005
One of the greatest achievements
of the Hokianga Accord to date has been the breaking down of barriers
between Maori and other New Zealand non-commercial fishing people.
The scepticism that existed at the first hui held in May 2005 at
Whitiora Marae, Te Tii, Northland has dissipated and been replaced
with an appreciation of what everyone has to offer and a thirst
for more information.
This document is a report
of the third hui held at Whakamaharatanga Marae, Waimamaku, Hokianga
from 10 – 11th November to discuss solutions to fisheries
mismanagement and the protection of our precious marine environment.
This report has been written by Trish Rea and was commissioned by
the Hokianga Accord in November 2005.
Unique is how the Hokianga
Accord has been described due to the parties that make up the Forum.
Originally intended to be one of eleven regional customary iwi forums
to be established throughout the country the Accord has determined
it wants to be inclusive of all non-commercial fishing interests,
both Maori customary and recreational. The Forum currently includes
representatives from Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua, option4,
the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and the New Zealand Recreational
The Fisheries Act 1996 and
the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 provide
statutory support for Maori input and participation into management
of fisheries and the marine environment. Section 12 of the Fisheries
Act is of particular interest to this Forum and has been analysed,
in detail, in this report.
The value of having the Ministry
of Fisheries attend the hui was evident when the discussions turned
to customary fishing. The MFish team have committed to return to
Wellington and provide feedback to the Forum on the Ministry's definition
of non-commercial and customary fishing and many other questions
posed over the course of the two-day hui.
When the Quota Management
System was introduced in 1986 the Government's policy was that recreational
fishing, which includes over 99.9% of fishing by Maori when fishing
to feed their whanau (family), would be given preference over commercial
fishing if there was insufficient abundance to provide for the needs
of both commercial and non-commercial fishers. The Government policy,
referred to as Moyle's Promise, was news
to many at the hui.
Compliance is a major issue
for MFish and their compliance leader from the Whangarei Fisheries
Officers team, Harvey Fergusson, gave the hui an insight into compliance
and enforcement matters in the North. It was evident from his korero
(talk) that the public were still in the dark as to what the compliance
team were using as strategies to ensure public awareness about the
level of poaching and the impact it was having on fish stocks.
MFish's Te Tari o te Kahui
Pou Hononga unit will be busy over the next few weeks as they expect
to have another two iwi Forums underway by years end and eleven
Forums operational by June 2006. Unit manager Carl Ross gave the
hui an overview and also discussed some issues that had been raised
in his management meetings in Wellington.
Kaupapa Whakahaere or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed
by the Hokianga Accord does not comply with Government policy. Feedback
to the draft was discussed during the hui. The Accord's Working
Group will review the draft before it is presented to the next hui
in February 2006.
Proportional allocation of
fisheries is an unfair and unjust way of allocating fisheries resources
between commercial and non-commercial sectors. The Ministry of Fisheries
is using this policy interpretation throughout its advice to their
Minister to limit the catch of recreational fishers and avoid compensation
issues for the Crown. Proportionalism needs to be rejected wholeheartedly
and was covered comprehensively during the hui.
Based in Nelson, the Extension
Services team will be providing strategic advisors to the iwi Forums.
The equivalent of one person per Forum will be available to help
with the use of statutory management tools and other assistance.
Public awareness is overlooked
in many of the Ministry's plans. In order to have a good chance
of success for the implementation of the customary tools public
awareness is essential. Ministry will need to address this issue
before much progress can be made.
Commercial fishers have indicated
the possibility of Court action if customary Maori management tools
and/or marine reserves prevent them from catching their quota. Effectively,
there is a "race for space" developing between hapu and the Department
of Conservation (DoC). Maori are increasingly disillusioned by the
prospect of being denied application of customary management due
to the no-take forever marine reserve ideology being promoted by
DoC, often as not over areas that are prime candidates for meaningful
customary management. The mismatch of resourcing is becoming all
too apparent as DoC spends seemingly endless sums on marine reserves
and the "science" to reinforce their position.
Solutions for dealing with
the "race for space" issue were offered and could also provide the
answer to address the mismanagement of important shared fisheries.
Tauranga was the scene of
the most recent gathering of the Executive Forum consisting of the
chairmen of the iwi Forums. Tom Moana, with Sonny Tau providing
backup information, gave a brief report of this hui to the Hokianga
DoC's approval for a marine
reserve at Aotea (Great Barrier Island) is very contentious and
MFish have agreed to meet with tangata whenua to discuss the impact
on customary fishing. The Accord discussed the need to address the
impact on recreational fishing as well and agreed that this had
not been well handled by DoC.
So much was learnt during
this hui and there is now a greater understanding of the management
tools, the background in fisheries management and the steps that
need to be taken to make progress. This was a successful hui and
the Hokianga Accord undoubtedly has the potential to go ahead with
confidence and knowledge.
The many new faces, both
brown and white, gathered outside Whakamaharatanga marae, Hokianga
were a good indication of the growing interest in the Hokianga Accord.
Held in the second week of November, this was the third Hokianga
Accord hui held at Waimamaku. After a heart-warming powhiri by the
Hokianga hapu of the Ngapuhi iwi around 50 people entered the marae
for an overnight hui.
The Ministry of Fisheries
(MFish) team were introduced to the hui. Joining Jodi Mantle from
the Northern Inshore team were Stephanie Hill and Stacey Whitiora.
The Inshore team attended the hui to listen and add value to the
The Customary Relationship
Unit (CRU), Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga, lead by Carl Ross were
joined by the Pou Hononga of the three other iwi Forums from around
Jonathan Dick, the Extension
Services manager from Nelson explained that his team had been tasked
with implementing initiatives from the Deed of Settlement programme.
One of his jobs is to introduce Extension Officers to all customary
Forums to assist tangata whenua have input and participation into
Tom Moana of Tainui is the
chairman of the Waikato Forum. Tom had been to the previous hui
and also attended the Executive Forum held in Tauranga recently
for the leaders of the iwi Forum.
Manny (Tuiringa) Mokomoko
, chairman of the Bay of Plenty Forum advised the hui their Forum's
area extends from the Coromandel down to East Cape and he was very
supportive and interested to participate in the hui.
Tom Paku, chairman of the
Hawke Bay Forum consisting of Ngati Kahangungu and other iwi collectives
advised that he had to leave the hui early but was certainly thankful
for the information he had gathered whilst in the north.
Peter Ellery from Rotorua
introduced the recreational representatives including Paul Barnes,
Scott Macindoe, Trish Rea, Jason Foord, Brett Oliver and Bill Cooke
of option4. Pete Saul and Paul Batten represented the New Zealand
Big Game Fishing Council. Bill Bell and John Torr attended on behalf
of the Whangarei based Northland Outboard Boating club. The Kaipara
Harbour Sustainable Fisheries Management Study Group was well represented
by Peter King, mayor of the Kaipara District Council.
Paul Barnes, project leader
of option4, had attended all four hui in 2005 providing much needed
technical information, advice on fisheries management and offering
solutions to problems confronting non-commercial fishers, both Maori
customary and recreational.
Scott Macindoe of option4
has led the initiative to engage with Maori fishing interests and
had, as always, much to contribute to this hui.
Bruce Galloway is a member
of the Guardians of Mimiwhangata's Fisheries and Marine Environment
Incorporated /Nga Kaitiaki o Nga Ika, Nga Kaimoana Me Nga Ahuatanga
Takiwa o Te Moana o Mimiwhangata established to look at and work
with tangata whenua and local communities on alternative marine
protection to the marine reserve proposed by the Department of Conservation
in 2004 for the coastal waters at Mimiwhangata on Northland's north-eastern
coast. Mimiwhangata already has protection as a marine park prohibiting
commercial fishing and limiting recreational fishing.
Sonny Tau, Chairman,
For the purpose of informing
everyone present of what had developed since the formation of the
Hokianga Accord, Sonny gave a comprehensive explanation covering
many of the important issues facing the Accord.
Sonny assured the hui that
Ngapuhi were here for their long-term interests. "Pakeha could
exploit the fishery, which they have, and sell up and get out of
the fishing game. Maori however are strapped into fishing and cannot
sell their quota on the open market." Ngapuhi's commercial
fishing asset is worth around $67 million and any concerns about
overfishing would have an adverse effect on the value of their fishing
The Hokianga Accord was reminded
that the Accord is not a forum to implement the tools of mataitai
and taiapure. The Forum was here to support whanau and hapu to implement
the tools, their mataitai and taiapure plans, not to do that for
The Forum has been set up
to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement
Act 1992. "We [Maori] lost our right to go fishing
customarily to feed our family on the 23 rd September 1992, [on
that day] that right changed forever". Ever since then
Maori need a permit to go customary fishing.
" 99.99% time Maori go
fishing we are categorised as recreational fishers when we go fishing
to feed our whanau. The only time we are customarily fishing is
when we have a permit".
Regional recreational Forums
and Maori customary Forums established by the Ministry in the same
areas amounted to a segregated approach by MFish. This did not make
sense as both Forums have the same concerns regarding fisheries
management. " The fragments of information they [MFish]
give about Maori causes the confusion. The fragments of information
the Ministry feed us about our recreational fishing right causes
the difficulty between the two parties. So we [Hokianga Accord]
have said no, we want to work this thing out together. The Minister
has written a letter and agreed that the Hokianga Accord will be
To read the Minister's letter
to the Hokianga Accord please go
here » »
The Hokianga Accord has found
the recreational fishers to be very skilled and helpful in getting
the Forum together so any problems can be worked on collectively.
Section 12 of the Fisheries
Act 1996 is very important for Maori. It describes the provision
of "input and participation" of tangata whenua
into fisheries management processes. Due to the high incidence of
recreational fishing by Maori this section of the Act would be discussed
in more detail over the course of the hui.
MFish have not clarified
what "input and participation" means, " so we [Hokianga
Accord] have an open chequebook, to put into our MOU of what
we think input and participation means."
At the last hui the Working
Group, or "short lineout" of the Forum, was assigned the task of
working on the draft Memorandum of Understanding for the Hokianga
Accord and also the draft MOU provided by MFish. The draft Ministry
MOU was based on what had been supplied to the Bay of Plenty Forum.
It seemed the Bay of Plenty draft had been driven by Ministry and
"doesn't suit where the Hokianga Accord want to go." The
Accord wants a combined approach to the sustainable management of
our fisheries; hence this is a combined Forum of both customary
and non-commercial recreational fishing interests.
A fair amount of feedback
had been received on the draft MOU, the Kaupapa Whakahaere, from
both Maori and non-Maori fishing interests. The draft had been distributed
since the August hui. The feedback would be discussed later in the
The feedback to the Kaupapa
Whakahaere proves there is a lot of work to do for both non-commercial
recreational fishers and Maori to educate people on what the Hokianga
Accord is trying to achieve. Some of the feedback included concerns
about Maori getting what they want and then leaving the recreational
fishers out of the process. "The fact of the matter is we are
inextricably connected because our desires are both the same –
to leave more fish in the water."
There are 107,000 people
registered as Ngapuhi and as chairman Sonny has the responsibility
to manage their commercial asset on behalf of everyone. While acknowledging
their commercial interest, his people have said they would rather
have fish on the table to feed their whanau (family) than on some
overseas persons plate. They have determined their whanau's interest
comes well before their ability to export seafood overseas for an
The Forums have been offered
$20,000 each to provide for input and participation. This is likely
to be used up in copying paperwork alone, it is not enough to provide
for the statutory obligations due to Maori under section 12 of the
Fisheries Act 1996.
The Quota Management System
was brought in to constrain commercial catch not customary or recreational
catch. It was to halt the "rape and pillage" of our fisheries.
While Maori still struggle to come to terms with being "categorised"
as recreational fishers by law, it is the reality that when fishing
to feed the whanau Maori are recreational fishing.
The biggest problem is lack
of public awareness. When it comes to initiatives such as mataitai
and taiapure the Ministry should be held accountable for the public
awareness campaign to inform people of what it means, what the tools
are and how it will benefit everyone. "It makes good sense to
work together with Ministry on this issue".
An integral part of the Hokianga
Accord process has been the video recording of the hui to ensure
accurate reporting. Attendees to the hui have been informed of the
process before they speak and given the opportunity to request a
non-recorded session. Speakers were reminded of "te tika, te
pono me te tuwhera," being righteous, truthful and transparent,
in the interests of everyone present. All sessions of the Hokianga
Accord have been recorded to date.
Two » » »