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Hui Report April 2006


Hokianga Accord Hui Report

Whitiora Marae

15 May 2006
Page 6

(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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Contents

Fisheries Plans

MFish Information
Mimiwhangata Marine Reserve Proposal
Guardians of the Sea
Selection of Working Group - 'short line-out'
Marangai Taiamai Management Plan
'Short line-out' hui, December 2005

 

Fisheries Plans

Jonathan Peacey, Fisheries Operations National Manager, Ministry of Fisheries

Jonathan had limited time to discuss Fisheries Plans with those at the hui as the Ministry team were due to leave within the hour, so Jonathan highlighted the points he thought were important.

A brochure ‘Fisheries Plans - what we want from our fisheries’ outlining the Ministry’s vision for Fisheries Plans was given to hui participants as Jonathan explained why he thought Fisheries Plans were “an important tool or vehicle for iwi forums and tangata whenua to use”. More detailed information is available on the MFish website at http://www.fish.govt.nz/sustainability/fishing-plans/

The steps involved in developing Fisheries Plans are:

  • Describe the fishery including biological, social and historical information. Why people value fisheries. 
  • Ministry want to work with tangata whenua and other stakeholders to decide how we are going to get the greatest benefit from our fisheries.
  • Assess the fisheries in relation to whether it is meeting stakeholder’s objectives and minimum standards set to fulfil Government obligations.
  • Decide on management measures to be used to meet those objectives, how much research is required and other controls such as enforcement.

The plans would be in place for a set period, possibly five years and some fine-tuning maybe required within that timeframe. The plan would be fully reviewed at the end of this period to ensure it was meeting its objectives or whether the objectives for that fishery had changed.

The Ministry had done a lot of preliminary work on these plans. Three ‘proof of concept’ plans were underway – Southern Blue Whiting, Coromandel scallops and Foveaux Strait oysters. Jodi Mantle was the best person to discuss the Coromandel scallop plan as her team had been working on that for some time.

There is another Ministry team developing standards. They would be consulting stakeholders soon on what they consider the standards should be, both in the interim and over a longer period.

MFish is building a good information base on fisheries, using their data. That information is available online at http://services.fish.govt.nz/indicators/ and includes the status of each fishery. Ministry acknowledge they have limited data on some fisheries.

Jonathan concluded by describing the advantages of Fisheries Plans as –

  • Greater involvement of tangata whenua and other stakeholders in fisheries management.
  • More transparency in management.
  • Clearly linking management measures with the objectives to achieve the agreed outcome.

 

The Ministry welcomed feedback from tangata whenua. Both Jodi and Jonathan looked forward to receiving input from the Forum on the Fisheries Plans concept.

 

MFish Information

Jodi Mantle, Manager Inshore Team, Ministry of Fisheries

Following requests made at the last hui the Ministry had brought copies of information that would assist tangata whenua in understanding MFish processes. Jodi gave a brief overview of what had been provided and encouraged the Forum to provide feedback or ask for any clarification.

The information supplied included:

Comparative analysis of the customary management tools and marine reserves (6 pages). (PDF 80Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/documents/Comparisonofspatialtools306.pdf

A four-page bulletin providing an update on what Ministry are currently working on. (PDF 40Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Your_Rights/documents/MFbulletin406.pdf

The official MFish brochure on the Marine Protected Areas Strategy (MPA) and a question and answer information sheet. (PDF 80Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Marine_Protection/documents/MPAMFishsummary.pdf

 

More info from MFish

http://www.fish.govt.nz/sustainability/mpa.html

Explanation of the Ministry's concurrence role in terms of marine reserves. (PDF 20Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/documents/MFSummaryconcurrenceprocess.pdf

A map depicting closed areas around the North Island. (PDF 295Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/documents/NI_closed_areas_406.pdf

Overview of the regional recreational fishing forums. (PDF 180Kb)

http://www.option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/documents/RRFFMFsummary.pdf

Three page brief on the Shared Fisheries Policy Development process. (Appendix Nine)

http://option4.co.nz/Fisheries_Mgmt/sfsumf406.htm

Unfortunately the Ministry team had to leave the hui so there was no time for questions on the Fisheries Plans or the information Jodi had provided. Any questions could be directed to any of the Ministry staff later on.

Sonny thanked the Ministry team for coming to the hui and participating in the discussions. They were encouraged to consider staying overnight next time so their sessions did not need to be rushed. The MFish team were advised the next Hokianga Accord hui is likely to be within Ngati Whatua boundaries so hopefully that would allow them the opportunity to stay overnight.

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Mimiwhangata Marine Reserve Proposal

Bruce Galloway, Guardians of Mimiwhangata

Both Bruce and Vern Tonks were at the hui and 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.

The group was formed in December 2004 with objects to maintain, improve and enhance Mimiwhangata’s fisheries and marine environment for recreational and customary fishing as well as the wider recreational use, ensure the sustainable use of Mimiwhangata’s fisheries for the existing Mimiwhangata Marine Park, and to support that marine protection tool, or other marine protection tools, such as taiapure or mataitai, which are consistent with the society’s objects.

The society is privileged to have as their patron Nupere Ngawaka, a kaumatua of Te Whanau Whero, the hapu whose area of influence borders Mimiwhangata to the south.

Mimiwhangata Marine Park

Mimiwhangata is 50km north of Whangarei, on the northeast coast of the North Island. The area had been classified as a marine park, with limited non-commercial fishing, since 1984. Commercial fishing ceased within the park in 1993.

The marine park was established under fisheries regulations and a Grant of Control under the former Harbours Act and later replaced by the Resource Management Act 1991.

The Ministry of Fisheries decommissioned the Honorary Fisheries Officers working on the north east coast in 2002. Apart from vigilant locals, there has been a lack of supervision of the marine park fishing rules since that time.

Marine Reserve Proposal

The Department of Conservation’s marine reserve proposal document claimed a reduced number of fish within the marine park area and recommended a marine reserve to correct that.

The Guardians commissioned an independent marine biologist to examine DoC’s research used to support their proposal. Graham Don of Bioresearches had studied Mimiwhangata for his thesis in the 1970’s and knew the area well. His interim report advised the group that DoC did not have any grounds, scientific, fisheries management or otherwise, to justify a change in the status of the marine park.

The report also doubted DoC’s favoured kina barrens theory, namely, that a reduction in the kelp forest was directly attributable to reduced numbers of large snapper and crayfish to keep the kina population in check. 

The proposal attracted a large number of objections, particularly from the local community and people who fish in the area.

DoC subsequently announced the majority of feedback they received to their proposal was in favour of the marine reserve. The results did not include any submissions from Te Whanau Whero.

Kaitiakitanga

The feedback the Guardians had received over the past eighteen months from a number of local community members including tangata whenua, is that if they had known about the other marine protection tools that are available then they would not have given their support for the marine reserve proposal. They would have opted for the status quo, namely the existing marine park, or for tangata whenua led marine protection by way of taiapure or mataitai.

The Government has an obligation to Maori to observe the principles of Te Tiriti O Waitangi, which include practising kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of both sea and land resources to ensure abundance for future generations.  

A marine reserve represents a confiscation as it deprives Maori the right to practise kaitiakitanga in their rohe (area). There would be no more gathering of kaimoana or catching fish. It would also deprive other New Zealanders the use and enjoyment of the area.

Developments

Bruce understands the reserve proposal has been removed from the present round of proposed marine reserves and is to be re-included for future consideration under the recently introduced Marine Protected Areas Policy Statement and Implementation Plan, although this needs to be confirmed. 

Two significant events happened over the days leading up to the hui:

  • It had been reported that Ngati Wai had filed judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General concerning DoC’s handling of consultation issues regarding several of their marine reserve proposals.
  • Bruce had also received notice of a proposed members bill for an amendment to the Marine Reserves Act on consultation.

Allan Moore

Trust Board member, Ngati Wai

Whirinaki Peninsula was one of Ngati Wai’s main fishing grounds.

Ngati Wai had taken legal action against DoC in regards to Mimiwhangata, the Poor Knights Islands, several reserves within Whangarei Harbour plus the proposed reserve at Aotea (Great Barrier Island). Ngati Wai objected to the concentration of reserves within their rohe.

They were also mindful of their commercial fishing interests, as much of their fishing effort was concentrated on the coast from Mimiwhangata southwards.

The people of Whangaruru had talked with DoC about the proposal but they had no right to speak on behalf of Te Whanau Whero.

“So we are pretty strong on what we are doing. If we can’t win it through this Forum we’ll see them in court.”

The correct pronunciation of Mimiwhangata was given as Mimiwhangata (Mimi-farnga-ta).

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Guardians of the Sea

Bruce Galloway, partner, Kensington Swan

Bruce used a PowerPoint presentation to explain the proposed separate charitable organisation to assist Iwi/hapu to provide for their input and participation in fisheries management.

The main features of the proposed charitable organisation were that it would be separate from the Hokianga Accord, would have charitable objects and purposes, and would be for the benefit of the public.

The intention is that having gained the approval of the regulatory authorities, donations received by the proposed charitable organisation would not be taxable.

Depending on the level of assistance required by iwi/hapu and the donations received, there could be a need for a trust manager, secretary and other support including accounting and legal.

Whether the organisation was established as a charitable trust or society was up to the Accord to decide.

Recommendation

The recommendation was for a charitable trust administered by board of trustees.

Outcome

After some discussion, Judah Heihei moved the motion on behalf of Ngapuhi, “ that the Hokianga Accord establish a charitable trust ”.

Tepania Kingi of Ngati Whatua seconded this motion.

The hui supported this recommendation and motion.

Many names were suggested for the charitable trust and it was agreed it would be called “Guardians of the Sea/ Nga Kaitiaki o Tangaroa”. 

 

Selection of Working Group —short line-out’

Scott Macindoe, option4

Before the Working Group, the ‘short line-out’, could be appointed the Forum needed to establish what positions were required. A secretary and a media liaison/database management person were essential. A scoping exercise would be completed at the next hui of the ‘short line-out’ to determine the other roles.

option4 were willing to continue providing services to the Hokianga Accord, Trish Rea with secretarial services and Scott with his organisational and supporting role. Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi had been supporting their members in the Hokianga Accord and were willing to continue that sponsorship.

Indications from people about their availability to help out were welcomed in the meantime. Steve Sangster confirmed he would be available after the end of April.

Current members of the ‘short line-out’ include Stephen Naera, Paul Haddon, Judah Heihei, Trish Rea, Scott Macindoe, Sonny Tau, Graeme Morrell, Bruce Galloway and Richard Baker.

Those at the hui supported the suggestion to have co-chairmen for the Forum in recognition of the huge workload Sonny had been doing on behalf of the Accord. 

Ngati Whatua and Ngati Wai were encouraged to be part of the ‘short line-out’. Neither Tepania Kingi nor Himiona Munroe could commit personally until they had consulted their runanga first. 

Costs of providing services to the Hokianga Accord would need to be shared amongst the participant parties. With the limited support of $20,000 per annum being offered by the Ministry of Fisheries the establishment of the new trust would be a priority.

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Marangai Taiamai Management Plan

Judah Heihei, Ngapuhi Trust Board member and Bay of Islands kaitiaki

Judah and two of his kaitiaki explained to the hui Ngati Rehia’s experience with trying to implement the Marangai Taiamai Management Plan for their area. Their rohe extends from Opua in the Bay of Islands north to Takou Bay. They have thirteen hapu and ten marae in their rohe.

Problem Identification

The Te Puna and Kerikeri Inlets used to have good supplies of oysters, pipi, flounder, mullet and snapper. Kina and mussels were also a common catch in the area. Over the past ten to twenty years pipi abundance had been variable. There was a lack of funding to conduct any research into the causes of this variation but the kaitiaki suspect it is related to farm run-off.

They have been advised the inlets are now shallower and therefore warming. This would cause the shellfish to die off earlier. The lack of research makes these assertions hard to prove but they there is no doubt about the lack of kaimoana in these inlets.

The locals have become frustrated by Ministry of Fisheries continued slow response to reports of offences being committed. This lack of enforcement had allowed people to abuse the resource by taking more than what was required to feed their whanau. The mataitai was seen as the solution that would give management to the locals.

In 1998 the Ministry of Fisheries suggested either a taiapure or mataitai for their area.

The Challenge

It was a challenge to achieve agreement from thirteen hapu but they eventually agreed to a mataitai plan for their rohe. The next challenge was trying to follow the interim MFish guidelines for mataitai establishment.

It was disappointing, after going through the establishment process to reach the stage of requiring resources for public consultation and the Ministry “disappeared”.

The group’s understanding is that the Ministry realised it was going to cost much more than what they envisaged to complete the plan so MFish decided they did not want to continue supporting the project. The Ministry never actually explained the reasons why they withdrew from the process but Maori felt “stranded”.

Public Education

Their biggest challenge now is to educate the public, both Maori and Pakeha about the benefits of a mataitai. The realisation that this is necessary before trying to implement their mataitai plan has made them very conscious of what their next moves would be. The group were hoping the Hokianga Accord would support their initiative and help educate the public.

Judah introduced Alan Munro and Aro Rihari from the mataitai management committee so they could add their perspective to the korero.

Ngati Rehia Aspirations

Aro discussed the aquaculture aspirations of Ngati Rehia.  They had followed the process to establish marine farms in two areas of the Bay of Islands but were thwarted by the imposition of the aquaculture moratorium and public opposition to their plans. This led Aro to ask the question, “Are our Pakeha friends asking for our support because they need it? Or will they forget about us again once this [Forum] is up and running?”

Alan added, “Now that we are under the roof of this marae we are all in the one waka. We all want one thing most of all and that is the sharing of what Tangaroa gives to us”.

Alan welcomed Pakeha to the marae and felt encouraged by the korero. He had lived in Te Tii all his life and could remember how good the fishing was when he was young. Sadly the john dory, kahawai, gurnard, trevally and shellfish were not as abundant as they once were.

While commercial fishers’ harvest had been discussed Alan also wanted to highlight the amount of fish taken by people on charter boats.

Their rohe only included half of the Bay of Islands so their management plan only applied to the northern side of the Bay. They hoped all Maori from the Bay would work together to protect the area and enhance the stocks for future generations.

Their management committee welcomed the support of the Hokianga Accord and in particular the boating and fishing representatives from the Bay of Islands area, to assist in the task of educating the public on the benefits of a mataitai and what could be achieved through Maori and Pakeha working together.

Ngati Kuta were urged to work with Judah’s team on formulating a joint plan for the entire Bay of Islands, once they had completed their rohe moana gazetting process for the southern area.

Local Input

Jeff Romeril added it was important for Maori to give the local Pakeha community an opportunity to have some input into the mataitai, so they would feel they were part of it. The big selling points would be the ability to exclude commercial fishing and also that it would be a counter to the Department of Conservation’s marine reserve strategy.

Regarding Pakeha support for tangata whenua, it was clear that Pakeha were beginning to understand Maori needs and the potential of working together to achieve good outcomes for all. The Department of Conservation had helped in this regard with their persistence of imposing marine reserves on coastal communities.

People were now more aware that other management tools could protect the marine environment without limiting tangata whenua’s ability to exercise their customary rights. It was up to the Hokianga Accord to educate the public, as the Ministry of Fisheries did not seem to have any intention of fulfilling that need.

 

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