Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori
10 - 11 November 2005
Memorandum of Understanding
Tom Moana of Tainui and Manny
(Tuiringa) Mokomoko of the Bay of Plenty expressed support for the
Hokianga Accord and the effort being put into developing the Kaupapa
Whakahaere. (Appendix Four)
Along with the feedback from
Forum participants MFish had also provided some feedback. Unfortunately
the Ministry's feedback only arrived the night before the hui so
there had been little time to analyse the feedback and make some
informed comment. (Appendix Five)
The Ministry of Fisheries
had asked for more time to consider the draft Kaupapa Whakahaere.
The feedback from Stan Crothers , on behalf of the CEO, is that
MFish do not seem to have any major issues with what is contained
in the draft document.
Jonathan Dick, the Extension
Services Manager gave an overview of the feedback received from
Stan Crothers , to the draft MOU distributed after the last hui.
There are six main points that MFish have raised, most of those
are directed back to a particular document – Crown Maori Relationship
Instrument Policy (CMRI). The feedback continually refers back to
that document as the standard or benchmark of how the Crown engages
with iwi organisations.
The feedback from Ministry
was strongly supportive of a legally binding document being developed
by the Hokianga Accord, as an MOU but the document needs to be consistent
with Government policy.
Jonathan read out a couple of statements
from MFish's feedback to the draft Kaupapa Whakahaere-
does not consider its approach to working with tangata whenua
and recreational fishers to be segregated. MFish has specific
statutory duties to recognise and provide for the input and participation
of tangata whenua and to provide mechanisms for the exercise of
non-commercial customary fishing activities."
The feedback included reference
to a clearer disputes resolution process. The Crown also wanted
confirmation on the issue of mandate of those involved in the Hokianga
Accord. Fisheries plans were mentioned in respect of the Hokianga
Accord forming its own plans encompassing its vision for fisheries
management in the area of concern for the Forum.
It appeared the Ministry
were introducing new criteria in its feedback to the Forum. No mention
of the Government policy had been made previously.
MFish suggested the Accord
put together a "short lineout" i.e. A Working Group comprising of
a select number of individuals from the Hokianga Accord, to work
with the Ministry team to develop how the issues would be addressed.
Carl suggested the reference
to and the need to be consistent with the Government's policy was
an outcome of a review of MOU's between Crown agencies and others
being very different in content and application. This was an opportunity
for the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry to work out how to develop
the relationship from here on in; it was not about one or the other
document being discarded altogether.
The criteria are new elements
that have not been presented to the Hokianga Accord on any previous
occasion. It was particularly frustrating to receive the feedback
the night before the hui, which did not allow time for the Working
Group to consider or draft a response to present to the hui. Some
felt the Ministry should be told, in no uncertain terms, that the
circumstances surrounding the MFish feedback i.e. Its untimely arrival
and content, does not constitute "good" consultation with tangata
The hui was advised that
the Government relationship policy being referred to is still in
draft form. If this is true, the Ministry were asked what risks
are associated with Forums drafting an MOU under a policy that is
in draft form and not finalised? Ministry representative, Jonathan
Dick did not want to answer that specific question but it does require
At this point Carl Ross felt
it appropriate to give some background on other Forums.
Carl advised the hui that
the Ministry felt they had learnt a lot from working with the Bay
of Plenty Forum, their MOU has been debated for the past two years.
The Pou Hononga are answerable to the Minister of Fisheries so their
role in the process is to take the Forum's feedback back to Wellington,
give it to the Justice Department, if they are happy with it the
document then goes onto Te Puni Kokiri (TPK). Once they have been
through the draft it is returned to the Pou Hononga. The Bay of
Plenty Forum's process is at the stage now where TPK'S response
has been received, both MFish and the Forum have agreed on a document,
a Cabinet paper had been drawn up and was awaiting confirmation
from Cabinet. It is hoped a more streamlined approach to MOU development
will be available soon.
is getting passed that they (Cabinet) are going to devolve that
[responsibility] down from Cabinet to strictly the Ministry
of Justice and TPK."
This hui was clearly frustrated
at what was perceived as another hurdle to be overcome before the
Hokianga Accord was considered official. The Accord did not want
to lose sight of the common goal of "more fish in the water"
"Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai."
Encouragement was evident
for the Working Group to keep working on the draft Kaupapa Whakahaere
and incorporate the feedback if and as necessary. It is an unfortunate
trait of working with Government departments that most things take
time to complete but the outcome needs to be robust so the advice
to the hui was to keep working on the draft MOU.
When asked about the Ministry
providing for the "input and participation" of tangata
whenua even though the MOU had not been finalised, Jodi Mantle responded,
though it's [the MOU] not signed, I don't see any problems
with working towards the principles. On my side of things, with
my team, yes we are there to help with that input; help with the
The Ministry advised the
hui that the Bay of Plenty Forum had received some of its funding,
the allocated $20,000 budget, even though their MOU is not signed
Aside from the money aspect
and the draft status of the MOU, the Minister had already recognised
the Hokianga Accord in writing. MFish were asked if tangata whenua
could have "input and participation" into Ministry's processes
Jodi's response was,
" The difficulty
with that aspect, it depends on the proposal. We need to go back
to the Ministry and say hey, these guys really want to talk about
this, can you come and talk to them."
In regards to Fisheries Plans
or an allocation decision,
so you just need to put that forward and we would need to go back
to the Ministry and find out who the person is, particularly if
it's a proposal that has already been written, we need
to get that person here to listen and have the resources to do
The Ministry is there to
provide $20,000 funding to run the Forum hui and pay for such needs
as photocopying, koha, meals, and travel.
Memorandums [of Understanding] are signed, you've got
a legal body within your Forum that will accept the responsibility
of the administration of that $20,000. It's going to be sent out
to the Forum to manage. It's actually going to save me work. So
when the Forum's up and running and the Memorandums are done,
it's there and I will be able to transfer it."
has been received from Government to run our Forums at $20K. That's
sitting in the budget that I run at the moment. It needs to be
The Ministry were asked why
work was not going into combining all the Forums and pooling the
available funds so more could be achieved through a collective effort.
Carl explained the Executive
Forum (of the chairman) would be discussing issues of collective
allocated for each of the forum is $20K. Our office has received
forecasted budgets by two of the four forums that exceed the allocated
budget. One budget was 700% more than the Government purchase.
I have discussed these requests at fisheries management and will
be reporting to the respective forums."
It was important to note
it was Treasury that made the financial decisions with input from
the Minister. Carl pointed that there are others providing financial
support to the Hokianga Accord and he uses that point in his promotion
of the Hokianga Accord in Wellington. "The Ministry is not a
There are various takiwa
with charitable organisation status, or recognised legal bodies
that are attached to the Hokianga Accord. The Ministry was asked
why the Forum could not use one of these accredited agencies (that
already had a MOU with the Government) as a channel through which
Ministry could fund the Accord. That way the Forum could concentrate
on getting on with the work that needs attention such as fisheries
Jodi's response was, "Let's
put that to the Ministry and find out."
The Ministry have no authority
to provide money to any organisation apart from one that has an
MOU specifically detailing what the funds will be used for and who
is involved in the organisation accepting the funds. The body has
to be a legal entity before any funds would be forthcoming from
the state. Any concept of providing the funds via another organisation
would amount to using that organisation as a bank account, that
would not meet Government's criteria for the allocation of funds.
The Hokianga Accord needs
to be aware that if it concentrates all its efforts on the MOU then
other matters may not be given the attention required. The Forum
should consider a two-layered approach, working on the MOU but not
at the expense of "input and participation". The Government
needs to be satisfied who it is dealing with in the Forum but the
process does not preclude the Hokianga Accord having "input
and participation" into Ministry processes now.
There was some discussion
about whether the MOU would allow the Crown to discharge its responsibilities
to tangata whenua. The $20,000 being offered to Forums could be
locking Maori into an arrangement that may not suit some hapu/iwi.
The Forum should consider funding itself and just getting on with
the important issues that needed to be addressed.
The goodwill of MFish was
questioned due to the new criteria that had been revealed in their
feedback to the draft MOU. Discussion continued around the issue
of money and whether the Ministry would put the funding aside until
the Hokianga Accord was ready to receive it, this could take years.
The money should not be a hurdle for the Accord to make some headway
in fisheries management and other issues that need "input and
participation" by tangata whenua.
Ministry advised the hui
that the Government allocates funding to be spent within a financial
year; if it were not spent it would be reabsorbed into Government
It was suggested that maybe
the Hokianga Accord didn't need an MOU with the Ministry and the
inherent dangers of the Government discharging its responsibilities
to tangata whenua. If the Ministry continued to pay the costs associated
with the Forum's hui then why not just leave the arrangement as
it stands and get to work on the issues that the Forum could have
some influence over?
The hui was discouraged from
abandoning work on the MOU. Tainui's advice was to get a win-win
out of the situation by having the Government departments working
together for the good of the Forum. If the Hokianga Accord continued
to concentrate on the funds the bureaucrats would not progress Forum
matters. The Waikato Forum's experience had been a wait of over
five years for their MOU to be signed off by the Ministry of Fisheries
and they didn't want to witness the same process in the north.
The benefits of spending
time on planning was valuable if the prospect of working with the
Ministry was perceived as being better in the long run for the Forum.
If the issues could be worked through then the obvious benefits
of a mutual arrangement with MFish is much needed resources, experience
and early advice of management issues.
The key was not to overplay
the importance of the $20,000, which would not be enough to fund
more than just the basics, rather than continue to concentrate on
the development of an MOU that would hold the Hokianga Accord and
Ministry together well into the future. The Hokianga Accord needed
to consider if achieving the goal would be more likely if the Forum
continued working with the Ministry. It has to be remembered that
the Hokianga Accord is breaking new ground and both the Forum and
Ministry have accountability issues that need to be worked through
and these tend to take time.
It was agreed the Forum's
Working Group would continue work on the draft Kaupapa Whakahaere
and the feedback received including the Ministry's. The Working
Group or "short lineout" includes Sonny Tau, Scott Macindoe, Stephen
Naera, Bruce Galloway and Paul Haddon.
Koha Reupena Tuoro advised the hui
that he is now part of the Te Rarawa executive and they are keen
to participate in the Hokianga Accord. Koha was talking on behalf
of his hapu and other groups interested in the Hokianga Accord's
direction. Sonny mentioned that anyone could attend Hokianga
Accord meetings with equal rights to korero. Koha was happy with
Sonny Tau, interim chairman
of the Hokianga Accord, advised the Forum that a meeting would be
arranged as soon as possible with Stan Crothers , deputy MFish CEO.
The Working Group would meet Stan to discuss progressing issues
of importance including the Ministry's feedback on the draft Kaupapa