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Hui Report Nov 2005

Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
Page 3

(PDF 450Kb)

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



Moyle's promise

Customary forums

Moyle's Promise

Scott Macindoe , option4

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.

"Government's 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.

Compliance and Enforcement

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.


Harvey Fergusson, 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.

Customary Forums

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.




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