Home - option4.co.nz The more people we can get involved in these issues the better Fishing in New Zealand

Advanced Search

YES I want to be
kept informed
Change existing options

Promote option4

Please help option4



Hui Report Dec 2005

Hui Report
Hokianga Accord Working Group

7 December 2005


Prepared by Trish Rea

18 December 2005

(PDF 90Kb)

MFish: Mark Edwards (Manager, Fisheries Policy), Carl Ross (Manager, Customary Relationship Unit, Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga), Jonathan Peacey (National Manager, Fisheries Operations), Terry Lynch , Graeme Morrell (Pou Hononga, Tai Tokerau), Jodi Mantle (Manager, Northern Inshore team), Stephanie Hill (Northern Inshore team).
Hokianga Accord: Raniera T (Sonny) Tau (Ngapuhi), Scott Macindoe (option4), Tom Moana (Tainui), Paul Haddon (Ngapuhi), Koha Reupena Tuoro (Te Rarawa), Bruce Galloway (Mimiwhangata Guardians), Raniera Tau jnr. (Ngapuhi), Judah Heihei (Ngapuhi), Steve Naera (Ngapuhi), Trish Rea (option4), Richard Baker (NZBGFC).
Duration: 3.5 hours


Newmarket, Auckland

Clarify the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) position on the draft     Kaupapa Whakahaere (MOU) developed by the Hokianga Accord and discuss issues raised by MFish.

Progress the understanding of the Ministry's requirements for achieving a CMRI (Crown Maori Relationship Instrument).

Further develop the Hokianga Accord Kaupapa Whakahaere.

Contents:   Appendices:
Introduction Fisheries management Appendix One
Ministry of Fisheries Fisheries plans Appendix Two
Intersectorial allocation process Statement of intent  
Hui focus Fisheries at or above BMSY  
Crown Maori relationship Iwi forums  
Input and participation Alternative model  
Tainui MOU Conclusion  
MFish MOU    



After the welcome Sonny Tau opened the hui with an explanation that Maori iwi from the north and non-commercial 'recreational' fishers were determined to work together to achieve the best outcomes for all non-commercial fishers. Furthermore, the Hokianga Accord has a good understanding of the basis for the iwi forums and tangata whenua's involvement in fisheries management processes and the Ministry's obligations to provide for that "input and participation".

A clear message was given to Ministry that who the Hokianga Accord associated with and gathered advice from was of no relevance to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Kaupapa Whakahaere being developed by the iwi in the north and in association with the Ministry of Fisheries.

It was insulting to Maori involved in the Hokianga Accord that MFish's perception was that option4 were "driving" the Forum. This notion was rejected outright. It was accepted that Maori on their own would not be able to take on the role that the Forum had decided to, without the expertise being provided by option4 and other interested parties.  

Ngapuhi are involved in the Kahawai Legal Challenge and would continue to be associated with that action. An affidavit supporting the Statement of Claimed signed by Sonny, on behalf of Ngapuhi, had been filed in the High Court.

"Over the past nine years the Ministry have certainly been absent from it's responsibility for the public awareness of what Maori customary tools are available, so much so that over the seven years I have been associated with Ngapuhi and it's fishing interests, the Ministry has not come to Ngapuhi and asked 'what do you think about these changes we want to implement?' The Ministry's obligations are quite stringent in regards to the Fisheries Act. You haven't done that, so where are our fish? "

As for the MOU provided by the Ministry the previous day, the Hokianga Accord Working Group do not perceive the MOU, at this early stage, being "set in concrete" but more it is an evolving process starting with a simple document. Whether that develops into a formal MOU between the Forum and the Ministry would be determined later, but certainly not at this hui.

Ngapuhi already have an existing MOU with MFish that is fairly straightforward. This will provide the basis for ongoing work with Ministry when fisheries management decisions are being made. Ngapuhi would consider any MFish proposal and estimate the total cost of involvement in a particular process. The $20,000 being offered to the Forum would only cover basic costs such as photocopying and does not provide for real "input and participation" by tangata whenua into fisheries management processes. Ngapuhi, and possibly other iwi later on, want to be able to promote their own fisheries proposals to enhance management of important species.

The MFish MOU seemed to be a narrow interpretation of existing legislation and the Forum would rather the relationship with MFish be based on current statute and the Ministry fulfil its obligations as per the Fisheries Act 1996 and the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992.

The Working Group require more time to consider the latest MOU from MFish but would like clarification from Jonathan, Mark and the team on some of the points raised in the document.

It was pointed out that the Hokianga Accord record all meetings with the Ministry including the video taping of the Forum's hui to ensure accuracy of reporting. As for some concerns from Ministry about the attendance of the media at the November hui, the Hokianga Accord hui are public meetings and anyone is welcome to attend and participate. There was a growing interest in the Forum's activities and the Accord had nothing to hide.


Ministry of Fisheries

Jonathan Peacey, National Manager, Fisheries Operations

The Ministry of Fisheries acknowledge their "provision for the input and participation from iwi has not been as good as it should have been, hence why the whole funding and Forum initiative was commenced. Hence that's why we're here to try and make sure that's improved."

"We understand your proposal that this MOU should not be seen as set in concrete. We are happy to see that evolve over time and clearly nothing will be signed now. We will have to work together to determine when that might be appropriate."

The Ministry acknowledge the long working relationship between northern iwi and other recreational fishers and " see some very positive elements there". As initiatives such as Fisheries Plans are developed MFish is supportive of iwi working with other groups to achieve good outcomes.

Government and Cabinet limit the Ministry as to what they can sign and what they can spend money on.   Some of the issues raised by the Forum would need to be worked through with MFish to determine how flexible Ministry can be. "There maybe some things that we identify that we can't meet your needs immediately and what we can do is identify what changes would be required if we were able to do that."

MFish accept that the Forum can decide how it runs its hui and who attends, including media. "How hui operate will in some way affect the nature of the way in which the relationship happens. For instance, if there are media present that means the way the Ministry and probably others, would be able to interact, maybe more formal. It may mean that informal interaction is more difficult." MFish are willing to identify ways to overcome some of the issues around this subject.

Mark Edwards

Manager, Fisheries Policy

The Ministry appreciate the opportunity to talk with the Working Group to go through some of the issues MFish have identified in the draft Kaupapa Whakahaere.

The experience of working with the Bay of Plenty Forum has already identified some areas that Ministry can work around to achieve what both parties want.

" You may disagree with it or think it's inappropriate

but we [Ministry] have fixed on Fisheries Plans as our mode for achieving that level of interaction right across stakeholders. We can talk to you in more detail about the way we see that engagement with other non-commercial fishers and tangata whenua aligning with that. You guys have come up with a slightly different model, that's good, let's see how we can make it work."

Ministry view a formal MOU of considerable value. For a 'high level' document it does not need to be too detailed, but should include principles and objectives. MFish want to be 'upfront' about what conditions they can work within and what they cannot, according to limitations in policy from Government and Cabinet.

Ministry strongly endorse tangata whenua's willingness to promote their view in their own fisheries management proposals. MFish recognise "it is part of our obligations, we need to recognise and provide for iwi and hapu aspirations in fisheries management. We have got a set of tools that enable us to do that. " Some of these would mean a considerable adjustment to the way MFish currently operates but they are willing to work through that with tangata whenua.


Jodi Mantle

Manager, Northern Inshore team

Jodi added that this process was a huge learning curve for all involved but stressed the need to look at the positive outcomes that could be achieved by working with the Ministry.

Terry Lynch

Endorsement of the value of having an MOU with the Ministry came from Terry Lynch . He made the point that Ministers change with time but an MOU, the operational agreement, remains the same over the longer term. An MOU keeps people accountable. Stan Crothers had made the statement previously, "that fisheries management is not rocket science; it's harder than that".


Intersectorial Allocation Process

Hokianga Accord

Allocation of fisheries resources is the primary issue. The Intersectorial Allocation process is what we need to discuss as a priority. It is part of the understanding of the partnership between tangata whenua and the Crown. Until the issue is discussed and resolved we would continue to see compromised fisheries management decisions and relationships between the Crown and stakeholders.


Mark Edwards

There has been an ongoing process between the Minister, stakeholder, tangata whenua and Government to give consideration on how to improve the allocation process.

"The other issue is, and there is some disagreement between the parties about this that we talked about quite a lot, is that the way the Act is set up we would see it as a kind of procedure. First of all it's an output based system i.e. your first job is to control the total level of mortality or removals to a level that is sustainable. In doing that you also address the other environmental obligations, the adverse effects of fishing on the environment.


"Then you come to the second part of the purpose, which is to enable utilisation. The first step in doing that is to allocate the available total yield between fishers. In that respect the Act is pretty deficient and has virtually no guidance to a decision maker on the basis for which to make the allocation.


"Scott's comment about tangata whenua come first, with all respect , [is] a bit of a simplification of the considerations which the Minister has to provide to allow for non-commercial customary fishing. But certainly because of the Deed of Settlement he has to give particular consideration to how to provide for those interests. And that is, although not very clear, much clearer than the situation for recreational or other non-commercial fishers, where from our perspective and the perspective of our lawyers and Crown law and we would argue the courts, they've said, all the Act says is that you [the Minister] need to make an allowance. You need to make an allowance but it doesn't specify the nature or extent of that. It then says, after you have ma de those provisions you've got to allow for other sources of mortality like illegal take and sub legal fishing mortality and so on, however objectionable that may be. That's a fact that those removals take place.


"When those things are done then you specify the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) and people go about their business of making use of the allocation. But the huge uncertainty around the nature and extent of allocations provided to each sector is a big disincentive for people to actively and constructively engage in fisheries management because they don't know how those decisions are going to be made.   So as the policy manager, if I was to rank all the problems that we need to address, in domestic fisheries management, I would put that one right at the top of the list.


"So in past processes, the Ministerial Reference Groups, Soundings, the things that preceded that, they didn't get us the outcome that I would argue everyone needs, irrespective of your view about allocation, we need certainty and fisheries management needs certainty.  


"So we are in the process of creating a body of advice for the new Minister. We have engaged with him, only preliminarily, enough to know that we regard this as the major domestic fisheries management problem . We are constructing advice and both talk to him about problem definition, the scope, the process we think needs to happen to properly engage stakeholders in this.


"Some policy issues you can deal with them in Wellington, in behind closed doors. This is not one of them. Everybody has a huge stake in this issue and it's necessary that people understand the constraints, the problem well and get engaged in finding the solution. At least that's our view. That means you are going to have a complex and resource intensive process but this Government is formulating a new process, formulating its agenda, we need to make a case that allocation issues are an important part of that agenda and get the Minister to sign up to a process we can move into to start resolving those issues.


"So that's the stage things are at. We can't talk to you about; we are a long way away from starting to specifically discuss any of the range of solutions that would improve the current situation and the other linked issues, like the role and capacity of the non-commercial stakeholder groups to engage and the engagement processes, to mention just one.   So that's the stage the Ministry is at, we hope to have decisions and guidance from the new administration and Minister such that we are able to enter into a process with stakeholders and start to talk in more detail about that."

Hokianga Accord

It was refreshing from a non-commercial fishers perspective that the Ministry were looking to deal with the allocation issue as a priority. While the "preference debate" or allocation issue remained unresolved it was debatable whether it was worthwhile engaging in the "proof of concept" fisheries plans process i.e. Coromandel scallops, Foveaux Strait oysters and Southern Blue Whiting.

With the scarce resources available to the non-commercial sector our focus had to be on the overarching issue of allocation. The danger is having tangata whenua distracted on customary Maori management tools for their rohe when the most impact on their non-commercial fishing interests would come from the allocation debate, their understanding of what proportional share means, proportional allocation means, what capping recreational catch means to them. What the compensation debate is all about. What is the number Treasury has for the worse case scenario, the likely outcome of compensation being payable? How much is it over the next two/three generations? One, two, three hundred million dollars per generation? This is information the Ministry must have; as MFish has known for a long time there is a major issue of allocation that needs to be resolved.

We need to know this information at the earliest opportunity; we need the whole picture about the debate. We also need a timeline of the process and meaningful resourcing. We cannot go into that debate without MFish providing the resources to inform the public. We are all going to need total focus on the debate.


In response to a question regarding the existence of a policy paper focused on the allocation issue Mark advised, "there is one coming together but we wont be providing it to you now because, as is normal procedure within the public service, we first of all provide it to the Minister, he considers it, there will be a wide range of options and means to progress, he will make those decisions. He will then decide which course of action he wants to proceed with and how he wants to engage with stakeholders. We will advise him on that but we don't decide we just advise."

Terry Lynch added, "but that paper hasn't been produced yet."

Ministry would not advise when a policy or briefing paper would be available for our scrutiny but Mark did advise, " we aim to get advice to the Minister before Xmas." When a paper is available for us to read is dependant on the Minister's decision.


                                                       Page Two » » »


site designed by axys © 2003 option4. All rights reserved.