Hokianga Accord Hui Report
By Trish Rea
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.
20 - 21 July 2006
"We are merging as one people from today onwards,"
Hugh Nathan, Ngati Whatua kaumatua.
This document is the record of the Hokianga Accord hui held at Naumai Marae, Ruawai, Ngati Whatua, 20th and 21st July 2006.
The Hokianga Accord is
the mid north iwi Forum encompassing the interests of iwi and hapu
of Te Taitokerau. The Forum is intended to assist the Minister of
Fisheries fulfil, in part, the Crown’s ongoing statutory obligation
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. (1996 Fisheries Act, Section 12 (1)(b))
Many Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua iwi representatives were present at this hui as were representatives from Te Roroa, Te Uri o Hau, Ngati Manuhiri and Waikato. Also participating in this hui were numerous non-Maori fishing representatives and individuals from around the northern region.
Discussion was primarily focussed on marine protection issues, fisheries management and the relationship between tangata whenua and the Crown. Both the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fisheries gave presentations to the hui.
DoC explained their Marine Protected Areas Policy and Implementation Plan and the soon to be released ‘Protection Standards and Classification’ public discussion document. There was general agreement amongst hui participants that Maori customary management tools should be included in DoC’s vision for future management of the marine environment.
MFish gave an overview of Maori customary management tools, Fisheries Plans and the Shared Fisheries Policy project. A public discussion document on Shared Fisheries is due out in August. The hui agreed it was important for Maori and non-Maori fishing representatives to work together on this issue, to ensure the best outcome is achieved for all non-commercial fishers.
Frustration was evident throughout the hui in regards to the on-again/off-again nature of the Ministry’s relationship with the Hokianga Accord. This was compounded when it became apparent the Ministry was not paying a hui fee to the Naumai Marae committee. Discussions are continuing with MFish on this matter.
The Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill was a constant source of concern and was raised many times during the hui. There were serious consequences for all non-commercial fishers if this Bill was passed. The principle of kaitiakitanga and the opportunity for local communities to work together to achieve marine protection, and active local management for coastal regions, would be lost if this Bill is enacted, in its present form.
Most memorable was the comment from a Ngati Whatua kaumatua, Hugh Nathan. “Fix it”, the depletion of our fisheries, was his simple but poignant message.
This report was commissioned by the Hokianga Accord and was written by Trish Rea. The source material for this report was the video taken during the course of the hui. Several DVD’s of parts of the hui have also been produced and distributed.
Thanks to Sonny Tau, Scott Macindoe and Bruce Galloway for their time so generously given to review the draft report prior to its completion and publication. The Ministry of Fisheries are also acknowledged for their support in funding the production and printing of this document.
It was a privilege to be at Naumai Marae as manuhiri (guests) of Ngati Whatua for the seventh hui of the Hokianga Accord. Previous hui had included representatives of all the mid-north iwi.
Board members of Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, Paul Haddon, Joe Bristowe and Judah Heihei were present, led by their chairman Raniera (Sonny) Tau.
Ngati Whatua’s chairperson, Naida Glavish was also there to lead her people, particularly the people of Kaipara, through this important occasion.
Representatives from Ngati Wai were at previous hui and on this occasion Ngati Manuhiri attended to have their input into the proceedings.
It was particularly significant to have several representatives of the newly formed Te Roroa Trust Board, led by interim chairman Alex Nathan.
It was special to have Te Uri O Hau at the hui as it was recognised they had many ongoing issues with the Crown that was taxing their resources. Their input into the hui gave an insight into their struggles to be recognised as an entity in their own right.
Tom Moana of Nga Hapu O Te Uru, Waikato once again made the journey north to share his experience with those gathered at Ngati Whatua’s Naumai Marae, Ruawai.
As the mid-north iwi Forum had been to several Ngapuhi marae it was timely to move into Ngati Whatua’s rohe. Previous hui had been held at Whitiora, Bay of Islands, Whakamaharatanga in the Hokianga and two Working Group hui had been held in Auckland.
The gathering of Maori and non-Maori at the waharoa (gateway onto the marae) of Naumai Marae on a cold July morning heralded a hui of significance. Numbers swelled to over one hundred during the course of the day. Many of those attending for the first time heard about issues that had not been discussed in the Kaipara before, although previous Accord hui had talked about ways to address the problems with overfishing in the Kaipara Harbour.
After a warm whakatau (welcome) chairman of the hui Raniera (Sonny) Tau greeted the teams from the Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation. The hui was reminded that the teams were at the hui as representatives of the Government and not presenting their personal viewpoints.
Jonathan Peacey led the Ministry team of four. As National Manager of Fisheries Operations he had come to the hui to discuss the implementation of the Marine Protected Areas strategy, Fisheries Plans and give an update on the Shared Fisheries Policy project.
Also attending from MFish was Stephanie Hill, a Fisheries Analyst based in Auckland, and two Pou Hononga, George Riley and Graeme Morrell. Jonathan acknowledged the work of Terry Lynch prior to the hui. Terry Lynch had been to previous hui but could not attend this occasion as he was in hospital.
Based in MFish’s Wellington Head Office, Jonathan advised he worked closely with Mark Edwards, the policy manager and Stan Crothers, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries.
Chris Jenkins, John Gardiner, Alan Fleming, Vince Kerr and Simon Banks were present on behalf of the Department of Conservation (DoC). Chris Jenkins is DoC’s Northland Conservator. John is their area manager, Alan and Vince both work for the Department, Vince as an advisor to DoC. Simon is based in Wellington and is part of the Marine Conservation Unit.
The hui appreciated the time Peter King had made to be at this and other hui. As Mayor of the Kaipara District Council it was important he understood the issues in regards to fisheries management, marine protection and the impact Government policies were having on the people.
Amateur fishers were again well represented by the President, Vice President and members of the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, the option4 team and good numbers of fishing representatives from around Northland.
Sonny explained Ngapuhi’s involvement in the Hokianga Accord. Ngapuhi had come to the conclusion that they were not capable of responding to all the different fisheries issues on their own. They appreciated the need to talk with other tribal groups and recreational fishing representatives.
While Ngapuhi held considerable commercial fishing interests they had a responsibility to address non-commercial interests as well. 99.99% of the time Ngapuhi fish to feed their babies they are categorised as ‘recreational’ fishers.
It made sense to get together with other recreational fishers and discuss common issues of concern, to achieve the best outcome. The Crown has ongoing obligations to Maori concerning fisheries and, for that purpose, MFish had intended that the Hokianga Accord be a Regional Iwi Forum. The Pakeha (non-Maori) people were at the Accord hui as manuhiri, welcome guests.
The essence of the Tiriti o Waitangi was to bring people together, not separate them. The Hokianga Accord had overcome many challenges to establish itself as the Ministry continued its strategy of keeping Maori and Pakeha in separate forums.
As mentioned, the Hokianga Accord was the mid-north regional iwi Forum. In addition to the iwi forums MFish had established regional recreational fishing forums. Later in the hui Wiremu Wiremu described the Accord as the Forum with the “helicopter view” of all the issues. The Ministry has a responsibility to the Hokianga Accord as the mid north iwi Forum.
Sonny explained the Hokianga Accord accepted that issues specific to iwi needed to be dealt with at iwi level. The responsibilities the Crown has to Te Uri o Hau and Te Roroa are separate to those of Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua and Ngati Wai. Ngati Whatua had already confirmed their full support of the Hokianga Accord. Ngati Wai would continue to work through the daunting list of tasks they are already engaged with. Te Uri o Hau and Te Roroa were encouraged to maintain its interest in the Hokianga Accord.
As with previous hui, the Ministry of Fisheries had sent a letter to Sonny, Naida and others, the night before the hui (Appendix One). The letter from Stan Crothers presented the Ministry’s view of the joint leaders meeting held in Whangarei on June 30th. The Ministry’s recollection of the meeting seemed to be at odds with tangata whenua’s view of the meeting.
Representatives of Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai, Te Roroa and Te Uri o Hau attended the June meeting. Sonny had not had time to discuss the content of the Ministry’s letter with any of those representatives and, as Chairman of the Hokianga Accord, intended addressing the issues raised following the hui. The Hokianga Accord would respond to the correspondence in due course.
Sonny concluded the introductions by acknowledging the name of the whare hosting the hui, Kotahitanga. “We recognise what kotahitanga means, that is the coming together of all the different voices.”
In keeping with the principles of te tika, te pono me te tuwhera, being righteous, truthful and transparent, the hui was recorded on video by Brett Oliver and Phil van Loghem. The Maori Television film crew recorded some of the events that occurred on the first day of the hui.
Don Glass, Terry Lynch (MFish), Guff and Mei Rawiri, Grant Dixon (NZ Fishing News editor), and Keith Ingram (NZRFC President) all sent their apologies.
As did the following: Larry and Barbara Baldock, Bruce Bell, Grant Blair, Damian Clayton, Peter Ellery, Jason Foord, John Forrest, Tony Fox, Bev Gailey, Angeline Greensill, Lorraine Hill, Tom Hunsdale, John Jefferson, Peter Jessup, Barry Kearney, Evan MacKay, Geoff Rowling, Pio Terei, Paul Thompson, Graeme Trotman, Peter Vahry, Jane West and Peter Williams.
A special tribute was given for Max Hetherington, secretary of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council, who had passed away earlier in the week. The huge commitment by Max to the advocacy of recreational fishing rights over many years was greatly appreciated.
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