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Hui Report April 2006

Hokianga Accord Hui Report

Whitiora Marae

15 May 2006
Page 3

(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


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Hokianga Accord Status


Hokianga Accord Status

Sonny Tau, Chairman, Ngapuhi

There seemed to be some confusion surrounding the status of the Hokianga Accord so the Ministry were asked a series of questions to provide some clarification of the Ministry's view of the Forum. Mark Edwards responded, as noted in italics below the questions.

1. Will MFish continue to engage, including assist in paying for hui for this Forum?

“"Will you continue to assist with a Forum with the mid north iwi to meet our obligations to tangata whenua? Yes, that is our intention and that is the model we are using throughout the country."”

2. Can all the issues pertaining to your obligation to tangata whenua and recreational fishers generally, be discussed at this Forum? Or is there some secret where we need to separate them for certain portions?
    “"Will you discuss all fisheries management issues at the Forum? Yes we will. That is our intent as I explained earlier…our intent is to use this as a platform to allow tangata whenua to engage with Ministry processes quite wide."”
3. Can Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua invite who they want, as manuhiri, to this Forum?
    “"Can you invite who you want on your marae? I think the answer is, of course."”
4. Is the name Hokianga Accord legislatively wrong therefore you can't make an MOU with that? If so, we will change it.

“"Is your name legislatively wrong? No, there is absolutely no legislation that prescribes what we can call this particular Forum. The only point is from the Ministry's perspective, we need to make sure that it does a good job trying to meet our obligations for engagement with tangata whenua."”

Mark continued,

“"Going back to your first question, does this meet the test of an iwi Forum?  It's a good start. To explain, some of the things that we think that would make it into an iwi Forum that we envisaged. We would like there to be satisfaction for the iwi and hapu of what we call the mid north, Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua, and the hapu Ngati Hine, Te Uri O Hau, Te Roroa are all engaged and happy that their needs are being met for engagement. If everyone is here then we are well on the way.


“"There are other things that are relevant. I think the Ministry considers that these forums are at a pretty early stage of development. For example, lots of people in the audience have expressed dissatisfaction about the level of information that's available. You have certainly expressed views about, concerns you have about the state of the fisheries and your ability to discuss and influence those decisions.


“"I don't think where we are currently meets anyone's test for satisfaction with the current arrangements.”


Sonny reiterated it would be ideal if the Hokianga Accord became the mid-north recreational and Maori Forum that dealt with all issues that were important to both recreational and customary fishers.


Jonathan Peacey

Fisheries Operations National Manager, Ministry of Fisheries

Jonathan appreciated the warm welcome to the marae and wanted to make some comment on the previous discussions. He believes that everyone had to work within constraints, even the hui participants with a mandate to speak had limitations on that mandate.

As servants of the Crown the Ministry of Fisheries and their staff worked within constraints and guidelines such as:

  • Certain requirements need to be met before an MOU can be signed with a Crown agency
  • The Fisheries Act regulations
  • Deed of Settlement agreements
  • Funding targeted for specific things had to be used in a certain way

“"What you are hearing from Mark, what you are seeing and will see in the correspondence between the chairman [of the Forum, Sonny] and Stan Crothers tends to work through how we can work within those constraints to achieve what we want to achieve. Yes we agree we need to bring people together to work together, we want that to occur. It has to occur at the moment within the constraints we have.


“"Please appreciate that it is not a lack of goodwill in wanting to work together. Simply that we have constraints we have to work within."”

Public Awareness

Jonathan did not accept the previous assertion that the Ministry of Fisheries had done nothing to educate the public regarding mataitai. The Ministry had spent some time explaining customary tools to the public. The following week many South Island Ministry staff would be involved in “"difficult" meetings that would require in-depth explanations about customary tools. While the Ministry accepted they could have done better than they had, they were trying to fulfil their education role.

Bruce Galloway

Guardians of Mimiwhangata

This was Bruce's third time to the Hokianga Accord hui and he was very pleased to be participating in the discussions. Much of the previous discussion had focussed on “"matters of form and not substance. The substance is the provision of input and participation and getting on with the job, sustainability and getting more fish in the water".


The real question for the Ministry of Fisheries was, when was the provision for input and participation going to start?

Mark Edwards

Fisheries Policy Manager, Ministry of Fisheries

The Ministry recognised the need to better provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua, hence the process that had led to the iwi Forum initiative and other measures being offered through the Customary Relationship Unit (CRU), Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga. The Ministry were working hard to develop more face-to-face relationships in consultation through the iwi forums rather than relying on the paper-based consultation processes of the past.

Jonathan Peacey

Fisheries Operations National Manager, Ministry of Fisheries

It was clearly the view of the hui that there were not enough fish in the water. Jodi's inshore team and the Ministry's science group were working hard to address that. The Ministry had been left in no doubt there was increasing dissatisfaction about current biomass levels. There had also been plenty of debate about what level fisheries should be managed at.

Once again reference was made to Fisheries Plans and the ability of that process to deliver the outcomes that stakeholders wanted.


Paul Haddon

Trust Board member, Ngapuhi

There was frustration at Ministry's inability to provide direct answers to questions that were being asked. The Hokianga Accord had agreed to put forward a draft new model of Hokianga Accord structure. The “"short line-out"” hui had given this draft to MFish in December 2005 for feedback (Appendix Eight). No direct feedback on that structure had been received from Ministry.

Mark Edwards produced a copy of the draft model and explained the different components to the hui. When it was explained to Mark that the costs of consultants and invoices would not be borne by the Ministry his immediate response was, “"on the basis of that we don't appear to have a problem with this diagram [draft structure]”".


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