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Hui Report Nov 2005

Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui
Page 6

(PDF 450Kb)

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


Extension Services

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 officers.

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 (local area).

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.

Management Tools

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 tool.

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 tools.

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 Officers team.

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 approval.

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.


Public Awareness

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.

Public awareness,   "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 year.

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."




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