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Hui Report April 2006


Hokianga Accord Hui Report

Whitiora Marae

15 May 2006
Page 9

(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

                                         

Contents

Hui Evaluation

 

Hui Evaluation

Participants were asked to provide a quick comment that summed up their view of the two-day Whitiora hui.

The Accord was gaining momentum and while many people were still learning it was great to be part of the exciting developments as Maori and Pakeha worked together.

The presence of so many of the game-fishing council northern-based members was appreciated.

The NZ Big Game Fishing Council would encourage its members in other parts of New Zealand to establish similar relationships with iwi.

The challenge for the Accord was to not only focus on policy issues but also encourage people to start gathering information to support marine protection initiatives, so that when the opportunity arose the necessary data would be available.

The offer to guide and mentor an iwi representative through the Working Group process stood. The importance of understanding the fisheries management process was re-emphasised as that would enable more meaningful “input and participation” by tangata whenua.

Once again the hospitality of the Whitiora marae, from Ray and May Kapa and the ringa wera was outstanding and appreciated.

Tangata whenua appreciated the opportunity to gain more understanding and have their say on some of the more complex fisheries management issues confronting non-commercial fishers. The focus should now be on solutions rather than the problems. More discussion was required on using aquaculture as mechanism to support tangata whenua into the future. The Minister would be advised that tangata whenua were satisfied with the hui and felt they had gained value from it.

The Hokianga Accord had done well to get as far as it had. It had established criteria that would benefit all forums and was encouraged to maintain the standards it had set.

Another first timer to the hui environment expressed his appreciation for being invited and was keen to return for more discussion and to participate in the Accord’s progress.

An environmental studies student found it interesting participating in fisheries discussions. Being from a community who had very little faith in the Government and their processes it would be a pleasure to go back and tell the community how well the Forum was doing, and that Maori and Pakeha could work together to achieve positive outcomes.

The information shared during the hui was appreciated and the Ministry’s extension officer’s team looked forward to working with Ngapuhi.

It was great to see everyone back again particularly considering the Ministry’s reluctance to acknowledge the Hokianga Accord as the mid-north Forum. The Ministry of Fisheries team present the previous day had done a great job in avoiding answering most of the questions that were put to them. It was time for the Accord to start working together on the issues facing non-commercial fishers.

The kaupapa of the Accord was in good hands. A special mention was made of the input of Sonny, Scott and Trish, into the Forum. It was hoped that the next time the Accord got together there would be more mixing of tangata whenua and Pakeha, it seemed that there was still a bit of “us and them” even down to how all the Maori were gathered at one end of the wharenui and Pakeha at the other.

It had been fascinating to watch the Hokianga Accord develop, listen and learn to the discussions over the course of the hui. “It’s infectious, what’s happening here and I’m so glad I came,” was one of many comments of this nature made by the students from the Polytech fisheries management diploma course present at the hui.

Tangata whenua must get together and prove to the Ministry that this Forum was viable. Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua had to decide to stand together as a united front. The Accord would then be an undeniable entity that the Ministry of Fisheries would have no choice but to deal with.

The Hokianga Accord had made progress and it was now time to put some proposals to the Ministry to achieve tangible outcomes. It was great to have the opportunity to build relationships with Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua.

Ngati Wai had not been aware of the existence of section 28N rights and the problems associated with them. Ngati Wai had thought that Maori could cut their quota to improve sustainability of the fishery. If the section 28N rights meant that Maori would not benefit from their voluntary quota cuts then the rights should be eradicated. Whether they were removed by buying out the rights themselves or whether the Government would pay needs to be determined. All iwi throughout the country needed to discuss the 28N rights issue in more detail.

Ngati Wai looked forward to being at the next hui and would confirm their status in regards to the Hokianga Accord then.

Ngati Wai acknowledged Ngapuhi’s effort in maintaining the Accord and also the input of John Holdsworth and Pete Saul into helping Ngati Wai on various issues.

Ngati Rehia was honoured to have the Forum return to Whitiora marae. They were disappointed that more of their kaitiaki had not attended the hui, but the messages from the hui would be relayed to them. Unfortunately Ray Kapa had been busy in the kitchen for the duration of the hui so he had not had the opportunity to join in the discussions.

Closing

It is traditional for the last speaker to be from the local marae. Wiremu Heihei had made some interesting comments during the course of the hui and summed up the feeling of the meeting very well. He had been at the original hui in May 2005 and was pleased with the progress that had been made. Wiremu was glad to be in the same room with Pakeha with the same view as his, but realised that everyone had a big job to go out and convince their people that this Forum was working.

His closing comment reflected what many at the hui felt,

“Why am I here? So we can feed all our children. That’s what I’m here,

for the future generations.

I value what we teach our kids and you leave with the blessing of our tribes.”

“More fish in the water”

“Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai”

 

                                                       

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