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Hui Report April 2006

Hokianga Accord Hui Report

Whitiora Marae
By Trish Rea
15 May 2006

(PDF 640Kb)

A hui to provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in fisheries, an interest in the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment and having particular regard to kaitiakitanga.

6 - 7 April 2006

"Tangaroa, te kaitiaki o te moana, nga ika me nga kaimoana"

Tangaroa, the guardian of the sea, the fish and seafood

 (Picture courtesy of The Bay Chronicle)

Executive summary

Selection of working group

Introduction Marangai taiamai management plan
Background Iwi forums

Engagement with MFish

Northern recreational fishing forum
Ngati Wai involvement Friday 7th April
Eel management Whakawhanaungatanga - Apologies & support
Concerns about MFish processes Input & participation
Hokianga Accord status Kahawai Legal Challenge
Shared fisheries policy Doubtless Bay marine protection
Question & answer session Ngapuhitanga festival 2006
Fisheries plans Income & expenditure report
MFish information Shared fisheries & plans - Accord view
Mimiwhangata reserve proposal Hui evaluation
Guardians of the sea  

Letter from Tom Moana

Accord Letter to MFish - 5 April 06
Letter from Keith Ingram Draft forum structure
Letter from Bill Ross Shared fisheries policy update
MFish Letter to Accord - 17 Mar 06 Glossary
Accord Letter to MFish - 4 April 06 Hui agenda
MFish Letter to Accord - 5 April 06  


Executive Summary

This document represents the record of the Hokianga Accord hui held at Whitiora marae, Te Tii, Bay of Islands on the 6th and 7th of April 2006.

The Hokianga Accord is the mid-north iwi Forum established by Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai in conjunction with the Ministry of Fisheries to meet its obligations to tangata whenua and provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in fisheries, an interest in the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment and having particular regard to kaitiakitanga.

The Accord is an iwi Forum and includes the full participation of many other non-commercial fishing interest representatives.

The discussions reported from this hui cover a diverse range of subjects including eel (tuna) management, concerns about Ministry of Fisheries' processes, the Shared Fisheries Policy project, Fisheries Plans and marine protection issues.

This report was commissioned by the Hokianga Accord and was written by Trish Rea. The report is taken from material recorded electronically throughout the hui. Sonny Tau, Scott Macindoe and Bruce Galloway reviewed the report prior to its publication. 



Anticipation of a productive hui was high amongst the sixty people waiting to be welcomed onto the Whitiora Marae, in Te Tii, Bay of Islands on the morning of April 6th.  Maori community leaders from the mid-north had come to share the two-day Hokianga Accord hui with recreational fishing representatives from around the North Island.

Included in the waiting group was a team of eight from the Ministry of Fisheries led by Mark Edwards, MFish Manager of Fisheries Policy. Carl Ross, leader of the Customary Relationship Unit (CRU), Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga, was accompanied by Graeme Morrell and George Riley, the Pou Hononga for Te Tai Tokerau.

Tracey Kingi from the Ministry's Nelson based Extension Services team was also at this hui. This team had been specifically established to implement initiatives from the Deed of Settlement programme and to assist tangata whenua to have input and participation into fisheries management.

The Manager, Jodi Mantle, and Stephanie Hill represented the Ministry's Inshore management team. Completing the MFish team was Jonathan Peacey, the National Manager of Fisheries Operations, who had joined the hui to discuss fisheries plans.

Tainui's Tom Moana could not be at the hui so he sent his apologies and a series questions to be put to the Ministry officials during the question and answer session planned for later in the hui (Appendix One). Tom is co-chairman of the Waikato Forum, Nga Hapu O Te Uru, and had been very involved in previous Hokianga Accord hui and the Executive Forum for leaders of all the iwi Forums from around the country.

Both Keith Ingram and Bill Ross of the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council sent apologies and their endorsement of what the Hokianga Accord is trying to achieve. These were read to the hui during the Whakawhanaungatanga session (Appendix Two and Appendix Three).

Leading the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council team was their President, Jeff Romeril. Northland members at the hui included John Chibnall, Paul Batten, Jerry Garrett, John Holdsworth and Brett Rathe.

Jeff also introduced the recreational fishing representatives to the hui during the formal welcoming session. This team included Paul Barnes, Scott Macindoe, Trish Rea, Steve Sangster, Paul and Remi Smit of option4. Bill Bell was attending as a representative of the Whangarei based Northland Outboard Boating club. Lorraine Hill, the Russell based Ngapuhi representative on the Recreational Fishing Ministerial Advisory Committee was also present at the hui for both days. Kerikeri's Mark Feldman, a long time advocate for sustainable fisheries management, particularly of kahawai, was attending his first Hokianga Accord hui.

Tepania Kingi was representing Ngati Whatua's interest in the discussions during the course of the hui.

Two long-term Board members of Ngati Wai attended the hui. Himiona Munroe and the fisheries manager, Allan Moore, represented the Ngati Wai people, the Board and their chairman Laly Haddon. Laly sent his apologies for not being at Whitiora.

Also at the hui was Matu Clendon of Ngati Kuta. His contribution and extensive knowledge of the Bay of Islands marine environment was most welcome.

Consistent contributions from Ngapuhi board members Judah Heihei, Paul Haddon, Joe Bristowe, and Ruby Winikeri have assisted in the development of the Hokianga Accord, from the beginning.

It did not take long for Larry Baldock's wife Barbara to find her way into the kitchen and become one of the ringa wera. Barbara felt honoured to be allowed into the kitchen to help out. Meanwhile Larry did his best to keep the Ministry officials honest by insisting they answered the questions that were put to them.

Bruce Galloway and Vern Tonks are members of the Guardians of Mimiwhangata's Fisheries and Marine Environment Incorporated /Nga Kaitiaki o Nga Ika, Nga Kaimoana Me Nga Ahuatanga Takiwa o Te Moana o Mimiwhangata. They gave a valuable insight into the process they undertook to establish their group and the progress they have made working with tangata whenua and local communities on alternative marine protection to the marine reserve proposed by the Department of Conservation in 2004, for the coastal waters at Mimiwhangata on Northland's north-eastern coast.

Also at this hui was a group of students studying for their diploma in fisheries management, with their tutor Paul Maxwell. The Whangarei based students have just started their two-year course.

Last minute changes to the very full agenda meant the important Whakawhanaungatanga (apologies, messages) session was moved from the commencement of the hui to the second day. This was a mistake that will not be repeated at future Hokianga Accord hui.

The chairman of Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, Sonny Tau chaired the first day's proceedings. Scott Macindoe of option4 chaired the second day of the hui.



'Short line-out' Hui and Correspondence

At the last Hokianga Accord hui, in November 2005, it was agreed that the Working Group or ‘"short line-out" would meet as soon as possible to progress the Kaupapa Whakahaere. In December the ‘"short line-out" met with MFish officials in Auckland to develop the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Reports from both of these hui are online[1] at http://option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/hokianga.htm.

The December hui was well prepared and designed to arrive at an “agreement” on the MOU and Terms of Reference between the Ministry and the Hokianga Accord. Unfortunately, little progress was made on the MOU and Terms of Reference. The Hokianga Accord offered the Ministry a draft alternative iwi relationship model and requested their earliest feedback.

A very frustrating, complex, expensive and inconclusive engagement had occurred with the Ministry in the four months since December. In hindsight, it seemed the 'short line-out' had been naïve in expecting cooperation, flexibility and encouragement from the Ministry. In March the 'short line-out' were dismayed to receive a letter from the MFish Deputy CEO, Stan Crothers (Appendix Four) stating,

"The Hokianga Accord would not be the vehicle to provide for the input and participation of iwi into fisheries processes. This role would be carried out by way of a Regional Forum.  The Regional Forum would not include recreational fishers as parties or signatories, however, recreational representatives could be invited to observe and participate in discussions.”

“"In our view, renewed efforts should be undertaken to ensure that the iwi in the Mid-North, and the two mentioned hapu groups [Te Roroa and Te Uri O Hau], are aware of the opportunity to participate in a Forum, and that all those groups be involved in the development of the MOU and Terms of Engagement for that Forum.

“"In view of the difficulty that has been encountered by both parties in some of the previous meetings with the Hokianga Accord, we think it would be useful to formally set out how iwi and the Ministry will work together at Forum meetings and in the interactions that arise from those meetings.

“"The Hokianga Accord is not a Regional Forum and is therefore not a body that could be funded under the purchase agreement. Similarly, funding iwi to meet among themselves, separate from a meeting with the Ministry, would also appear to be inconsistent with the current purchase agreement between the Minister and the Ministry. In this circumstance the Ministry is not able to fund meetings unless they are between a Regional Forum and the Ministry.”

In light of the planned hui on the 6th and 7th of April the 'short line-out' responded to Stan Crother's letter on April 4th (Appendix Five). The letter addressed the Ministry's concerns and concluded,

“"The hui called to date by Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua to which non-Maori non-commercial fishing interests have been invited, comply in essence with the MFish Regional Forum model, and therefore qualify for and are entitled to the government agreed funding of $20,000 per annum for input and participation by tangata whenua in respect of those hui. Additional funding will be sought to provide for input and participation on particular sustainability measures.”


The Ministry replied with a commitment to send a more detailed letter within ten days, a list of concerns setting out the criteria by which MFish staff would participate in the hui and concluded the letter (Appendix Six) with the statement,

“"I would like confirmation prior to Thursday that the hui will be conducted in a professional manner and that the proceedings will not be videoed or recorded and that media will not be present.  I look forward to your reply.”

The Hokianga Accord awaits the promised detailed response to the initial letter and some clarification on the above statement implying previous hui had been unprofessional.

Sonny responded immediately, on April 5th, answering the challenges raised in Stan's letter to the Hokianga Accord (Appendix Seven). In keeping with the Accord's policy of openness and transparency the hui was recorded on video.

Sonny Tau

Chairman, Hokianga Accord and Ngapuhi

Sonny extended a warm welcome to the Pakeha recreational fishing representatives at the hui. The term Pakeha was used in terms of all non-Maori present and was not meant to be a derogatory phrase. The Hokianga Accord was grateful the Ministry of Fisheries had made an effort to attend and contribute to the discussions.

The hui was advised that two television crews were present to record the meeting, Maori Television and TVNZ. Both are making documentaries on how Maori and Pakeha are working together on fisheries management issues and the involvement of Ministry in these discussions.

Also recording the hui was Steve Sangster, on behalf of the Hokianga Accord, for reporting and future reference requirements. Sonny Tau addressing the 2005 NZRFC conference

Ngapuhi's position was clearly stated when Sonny explained,

"80% of Ngapuhi's income comes from the sea, through our fisheries asset. 100% of the time that Ngapuhi go fishing to feed our babies and continue to feed our whanau, we look to the sea. So it is natural that we spend much time getting this thing right, with the Ministry of Fisheries help of course, to make sure the sea continues to feed us into the future."

It made little sense to have iwi Forums discussing the same issues as the regional recreational fishing forums and Sonny suggested to the hui that all those involved in the regional and Ministerial forums should be urging the Ministry to have only one Forum, in the mid north region. Not segregated as per the Ministry agenda. This is acknowledgement that 99.99% of the time that Maori fish they are regarded as recreational fishers. “"We need to be sitting in the same room, talking about the same things, sustainability of the resource is the korero."”

After a round up of the issues from Sonny, Mark Edwards was invited to present the MFish deputy CEO, Stan Crother's response to the proposed Hokianga Accord structure (Appendix Eight).


Engagement with MFish

Mark Edwards, Fisheries Policy Manager, Ministry of Fisheries

Mark introduced each of the MFish team and gave a brief description of their role. A special mention was made of the Pou Hononga team present, Carl Ross, Graeme Morrell and George Riley, and the great job they were doing as relationship managers for the Ministry of Fisheries.

MFish had considered a range of options on how they might improve their engagement and meet their legislative obligations to Maori. MFish had promoted the formation of iwi forums around the country. The Ministry believed they were in a difficult position as they do not have a large number of staff, are not overly resourced and there were a very large number of iwi throughout the country.

"We needed a mechanism that allowed us to engage with Maori in an efficient manner, but in a meaningful manner, because we recognised that what you could call consultation to that date, largely paper-based with the odd meeting, was not meeting the obligations as we saw them."”

MFish realised Maori have extensive interest in fisheries, customary, recreational and substantial commercial interests. "Our engagement response has been to encompass all of the fisheries management issues that concern Maori."”

“"This engagement to meet our obligations, our statutory obligations with Maori is different but linked to the concept of an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). We need to have that engagement in any case."”

Government had clear guidelines as to what was required in an engagement that is designed to meet complex obligations, what is expected of Government departments, who they engaged with, their responsibilities and what they were trying to achieve. The MOU and Cabinet guidelines helped this process. Any MOU the Forum signed would be a formal agreement between the Government and Maori.

Mark agreed with Sonny's point about the Ministry engaging with a range of stakeholders who were involved in fisheries management, in the same forums, to reach a common understanding on what the goals were, a common information base, to develop shared objectives and to discuss any “"trade-offs"” that needed to take place when different interests were involved.

Ministry viewed Fisheries Plans as the way to fulfil the need for sustainable fisheries management and engaging all stakeholders in one Forum. Fisheries Plans are included in the MFish Statement of Intent.

“"An important part of those is that we have all of the concerned stakeholders in the same place discussing the constraints, the objectives, the information we have and trying to agree, if possible, or have decisions made, but in an informed way that has involved all relevant parties to achieve the fisheries management objectives that Sonny referred to. Ultimately, the sustainability of our resources but importantly provide for the utilisation of all different sorts."”


Mark believed the Hokianga Accord's fisheries management goal was the same as the Ministry's goal. The Accord's goal is:

“"More fish in the water"”

“"Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai"”


November hui report - http://option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/har1105.htm
December hui report - http://option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/har1205.htm


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