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Hui Report Nov 2005

Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
By Trish Rea
6 December 2005

(PDF 450Kb)

A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori customary forums
10 - 11 November 2005

Contents   Appendices
Executive summary Proportional allocation Consultation ruling
Introduction Extension services Section 12 definition
Background Race for space Proportional allocation

Fisheries Act s12

Tauranga executive forum Draft kaupapa whakahaere
Ministry of Fisheries Friday 11th November MFish feedback
Customary fishing Aotea marine reserve  
Moyle's promise Spatial issues  
Compliance More fish in the water  
Customary forums General discussion  
Kaupapa whakahaere Conclusion  

Executive Summary

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 Fishing Council.

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.

The draft 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 Accord.

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 Forum.

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 the country.

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 fisheries management.

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, Ngapuhi

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 asset.

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 them.

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 treated accordingly".

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 program.

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 economic return.

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.   


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