Accord Hui Report
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.
- 7 April 2006
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
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
- 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.
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
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
Marine Reserve Proposal
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
of the Sea
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
The recommendation was
for a charitable trust administered by board of trustees.
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”.
of Working Group —short line-out’
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
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.
Taiamai Management Plan
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.
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
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.
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
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”.
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
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
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.
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
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.
<< Previous page