Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori
10 - 11 November 2005
Scott Macindoe ,
In June 1989 the Minister
of Fisheries, Colin Moyle released the National Policy for Marine
Recreational Fisheries. He also made a statement now referred to
as Moyle's Promise.
position is clear, where a species of fish is not sufficiently
abundant to support both commercial and non-commercial fishing,
preference will be given to non-commercial fishing."
The promise of preference
for non-commercial fishing interests had not been made law. One
reason is that the Labour party lost the next election to National.
Sonny Tau stated that in
all the years he has been involved in the Ngapuhi fisheries asset
discussions, he had not heard Moyle's Promise being discussed once.
"The question for Ngapuhi is, did our fisheries negotiators
know about Moyle's Promise when they signed the Sealords Deal?"
At the first hui at Whakamaharatanga
Terry Lynch of MFish confirmed he was involved in the settlement
process. He also confirmed at that hui that he believed the Maori
negotiators were aware of the preference that had been promised
but decided they would accept a portion of the Total Allowable Commercial
Catch (TACC) as a settlement anyway.
Another question put to the
Ministry staff for an answer was, if tangata whenua are considered
to be fisheries managers under the law then does "input and
participation" provide for the ability of tangata whenua, or
these types of Forums, to have a compliance and enforcement role
rather than just as customary permit issuers or Honorary Fisheries
Officers (HFO's)? The Hokianga Accord would expect an answer to
this question from MFish.
Fisheries Officer, team leader, Whangarei
Harvey agreed with the interpretation
of amateur fishing previously discussed, that everyone in New Zealand
has a right to fish recreationally, irrespective of race.
Customary fishing is covered
in the Fisheries (Kaimoana Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998 and
under Regulation 27 encompassed in the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing)
Regulations 1986. These regulations allow, under certain circumstances,
people exercising their customary right to take more, or different
size fish than is allowed for under the amateur fishing regulations.
Management of compliance
and enforcement are core roles of Government, which can be assisted
by other people but these roles need to remain with the Crown. MFish
are currently looking for HFO's for the Hokianga area so the Ministry
would welcome any assistance in this area.
Harvey was asked if there
were any trends in regards to compliance and people's perception
of gathering kai, whether there was an understanding that Maori
were fishing recreationally if they did not have a permit authorising
customary take. In his opinion, there did seem to be an increase
in the use of permits to gather kaimoana (food), within the regulations.
A small amount of permit abuse does occur but most people were fishing
within the customary or amateur regulations.
Carl Ross, manager
of the Customary Relationship unit
The Ministry and the Te Tari
o te Kahui Pou Hononga unit expects to have six customary forums
established by the end of the year and eleven by June 2006. The
logistics of how the Pou Hononga unit is going to service and attend
all the forum hui still needs to be worked out. With so many forums
there will be a bigger demand for the attendance of MFish staff
from other units to be available to have input and answer questions
from each forum.
"It has been really
interesting to see and hear the feedback that's been coming from
Wellington on the Hokianga Accord." The funding supplied
by Government was to support customary forums. "This [Hokianga
Accord] is running a little bit outside the scope of what
we are supposed to be doing. What we have been talking about in
amongst the Pou Hononga is that every Forum is now unique. The
uniqueness is something I would like to nurture. The Hokianga
Accord has certainly tested the boundaries of where we are supposed
to be. It's good to hear some of the statements that have been
made from this Forum are now being used in Wellington. That goes
to show the importance of it."
Input and Participation
Carl suggested the Hokianga
Accord establish a Working Group so the Forum and Ministry can discuss
what true and meaningful input into fisheries management is and
develop the concept. Following that, Carl can take the outcome of
that process to Wellington as the format of what the Accord have
determined what "input and participation" means.
A hui held in Tauranga recently of all the Forum chairmen was an opportunity
for the Ministry and the chairmen to exchange ideas. There are ideas
and benefits that can be shared amongst all Forums. This Executive
Forum will meet three times per annum. The Terms of Reference for
the Executive is still in draft form and once finalised will form
the basis of the relationship between the Forum and the Ministry.