Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori
10 - 11 November 2005
Jonathan Dick, team
manager, MFish Nelson
In December 2003 the Cabinet
signed off on money for the Pou Hononga, the extension service and
set up additional resources for two extra staff in each of three
inshore teams. It also helped to set up two additional fulltime
people in the non-commercial compliance area, as customary liaison
The purpose of the Cabinet
decision was to add momentum to the initiatives of the Deed of Settlement.
It was originally called the Deed of Settlement Implementation Program.
The first intention is to support the Forums.
Role of Extension Service
The primary vision is to
look for enduring solutions put in place to manage the rohe moana
The team of Extension Officers,
up to eleven eventually, will be strategic advisors to the Forums.
They will be available to provide advice on the use of statutory
management tools such as temporary closures, taiapure, mataitai,
customary led fisheries plans and also non-statutory options.
Jonathan described taiapure
as "a somewhat cumbersome tool to use but it's been used up
and down the motu (country) so that's another one [tool]
the team is able to support."
"We are seeing a growing
interest in setting up mataitai reserves up and down the country."
So the team is available to support with that form of management
There has been a shift from
customary led fisheries plans to Ministry driven fisheries plans.
The inshore team have been given the task of delivering at least
two, if not three, fisheries plans by June 2006.
There is still the potential
for tangata whenua to do their own fisheries plans through section
11A of the Fisheries Act 1996.
Non-statutory options are
discussed rarely but could be as simple as education. Signs on beaches
to advise of local limits are potentially very good educational
Once the Extension Officer
has helped with a (plan/tool) proposal, it is submitted and if approved
the Officer can then assist with bylaw writing, management strategies
or writing mataitai management plans.
Currently there are seven
each of the following tools in place around the country - mataitai,
taiapure and s186 temporary closures. Of the mataitai and taiapure
only two, possibly three, have management plans drafted or being
reviewed. This is something tangata whenua need to get underway.
There are some very serious
challenges to these tools. Industry representatives, particularly
SeaFIC and the paua industry are very concerned about the "proliferation"
of mataitai reserves applications. They are currently lobbying the
Ministry about this issue.
Te Ohu Kai Moana Ltd (TOKM)
and Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (AFL) had also expressed some concern
at several meetings with Ministry. With Maori holding an interest
in AFL there needs to be some consideration as to the impacts of
these tools on the ability for commercial operators to harvest their
quota. There needs to be plenty of information available so people
can make the right decision based on as much knowledge about all
aspects of using these tools.
There are currently four
iwi Forums around the country and the expectation is there will
be eleven by June 2006. Concurrent with that will be an Extension
Officer, or the equivalent, available to each iwi Forum.
Into the future, the vision
is to support the Forums to achieve fisheries management objectives,
whatever they may be.
There are a variety of scenarios
for accessing the extension service. The four current officers (soon
to be five) have helped with pre-applications for several temporary
closures and mataitai applications. Existing mataitai committees
have also asked for and received assistance from Jonathan's Extension
It is conceivable the Forum
may choose to contract the Extension service, "that is definitely
an option available. There is a certain amount of putea available,
and they [the Forum] could appoint their own person and
this person could work within one of the Runanga or one of the Trust
Boards and provide that service."
"Another option is to
second a person from the team across". As tangata whenua "you
would have access to all the fisheries management information coming
out from the inshore management teams and the decisions they make
under section 12 [of the Fisheries Act], as a result of
your section 12 participation."
The Extension Service is
only planning one year in advance and has no plans to educate or
measure the public awareness aspect of the customary management
tools available for use by tangata whenua.
As an advisory service there
are no plans to ask for, or make a decision for, a law change to
streamline the taiapure process although they are aware the Whakapuaka
(Delaware Bay) application took around eight or nine years to complete
including the two years (approx) it sat on the Minister's desk awaiting
In terms of what percentage
of the coastline is currently protected by the use of the customary
tools, Jonathan committed to responding after the hui with the details,
as he did not have access to the figures at the hui.
Ngati Kuta's management plan
is almost completed and they would welcome input from the Extension
Services team and the Hokianga Accord as long as that support fitted
in with what Ngati Kuta wanted for their area. As Kaitiaki of the
Rawhiti/Bay of Islands area it is their responsibility to consider
not only the non-commercial fisheries but other issues such as the
impact of land run off, tourism and commercial fishing effort.
The Extension Service is
not responsible to fund schemes to measure the impact of customary
management tools to see if they are achieving their objective/s.
Jonathan considers "the extension service is not responsible
for that". But there will be another part that will be? Jonathan's
response was "yes".
It has already been accepted
by the Hokianga Accord that the $20,000 being offered by the Ministry
will not be enough to fund the Forum let alone any initiatives being
promoted by participants to the Accord.
In order to have a good chance
of success for the implementation of the customary tools public
awareness is essential. The Ministry's policy and Treaty strategy
manager, Mark Edwards, has previously stated, "Advocacy without
resources is an illusion." With the lack of funding from MFish what
expertise does the extension service offer in respect to public
awareness campaigns and grant application expertise?
The Ministry funding at present
is for eight people to be in the Extension Service by June 2006.
Cabinet funding is targeted for specific purposes; grant applications
are not one of them. Having said that, once the Forum is able to
contract services there is no reason why the person employed would
not be able to carry out that function.
"yes, again it's been the most underused tool is the educational
tool. Yes, there is a fund within the Ministry of Fisheries for
education and science and people have every right to request that,
that goes through Neville Buckley; I think he's the manager of that.
He has the potential to go to joint ventures and he is going to
do that with a number of tribes around the motu, for education.
Again, he comes under the Deed of Settlement funding. Public awareness,
I agree, there is a need for more."
There was some concern expressed
that the people appointed as Extension Officers would have a huge
task coping with the expectation that they would need to provide
advice on so many issues. The resource management consents process
was difficult for even experienced operators to work within. The
expectation that these Officers would be able to provide assistance
for mataitai, taiapure and temporary closure applications as well
as being involved in other statutory processes would eventually
mean a long delay, possibly five to ten years, of achieving any
success through using the customary tools.
The Ministry's lack of credibility
amongst Maori and the general public was also raised as an issue
for the Extension Officers and the Pou Hononga team. The installation
of a few signs at beaches would do little to address the issue.
MFish needed to work hard on gaining the trust of many Maori who
have lost faith in the Ministry's ability to manage fisheries well.
Compliance without effective
management was another issue raised. While Maori can initiate and
implement local management in the form of fisheries plans compliance
responsibility remained with the Crown. MFish's lack of credibility
is hampering people's willingness to comply with current regulations
and those proposed in fisheries plans. Maori wanted more "input
and participation" into management.
Graeme Morrell, Te Tai Tokerau
Pou Hononga, advised the hui that signage installed on Ninety Mile
Beach had been paid for via Neville Buckley's division in MFish.
The signs seemed to be successful in limiting the take of toheroa.
MFish compliance confirmed there had only been one infringement
in the past twelve months compared to more than ten the previous
Robert Willoughby advised
the hui that Ngati Kuta have decided their best response to mismanagement
of their rohe was to formulate their own management plan. Once Ngapuhi
has signed that off it will be submitted to the Northland Regional
Council to be included in the District Plan. Once completed, the
Council has to take the plan into consideration when making management
decisions. This puts Maori in a management role with the Council,
for their rohe.
The question was put to the
Ministry regarding the new Resource Management Act and how that
interacts with customary management tools. It was suggested the
new RMA has reduced requirements for consultation and could delay
the use of customary tools.
"Sections 62 to 66 of the RMA gives the power through the Regional
Policy Statement and the Regional Coastal Statement for fisheries
plans, for recognition of an Iwi Planning Document. Through that,
by law, you have the opportunity, combined with your management tools
and your fish plan, and through section 11A of the Fisheries Act;
through those windows of opportunity we can actually get some support
from either District Council or Regional Council or the Ministry of
Fisheries, to put some teeth to whatever it is you want to use as
an intervention tool or a management tool."