Hokianga Accord Working Group
7 December 2005
||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
|| 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).
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).
the Hokianga Accord Kaupapa Whakahaere.
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
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.
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
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.
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
The experience of
working with the Bay of Plenty Forum has already identified
some areas that Ministry can work around to achieve what both
" 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
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 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.
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".
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
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."
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
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.
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