hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori customary
- 30 August 2005
Ongoing concerns about
fisheries mismanagement and improving the protection of our marine
environment led to a series of meetings between Maori customary
and recreational fishing interests during 2004 and 2005. These discussions
resulted in three hui being held in Northland between April and
August 2005. This is a record of discussions held at the third hui,
at Whakamaharatanga Marae, Hokianga from the 29 th – 30 th
August 2005. This report was commissioned by the Hokianga Accord
and was written by Trish Rea with input from Sonny Tau and Scott
The Hokianga Accord is
a unique regional Maori customary Forum as it includes Maori customary,
Maori recreational and non-Maori recreational fishing interests.
Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai and Te Rarawa representatives have
been clear that working together will achieve a better outcome for
all interests and more importantly to accomplish the common goal
of "more fish in the water"
The Crown has a statutory
obligation to tangata whenua in relation to section 12 of the Fisheries
Act 1996 and also the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement
Act 1992. In order to satisfy these obligations the Ministry of
Fisheries (MFish) has initiated the regional Maori customary Forums
to deliver fisheries management outcomes that meet the aspirations
The Hokianga Accord has
a decision-making role rather than a purely consultative function.
It is obvious from the outset that the $20,000 allocated to the
Forum will be insufficient to provide for the input and participation
of tangata whenua in the formal MFish processes. Sustainable
funding and resources are essential for the Hokianga Accord to succeed.
An Extension Officer will
be provided by the Ministry to assist the Forum with technical services.
The Hokianga Accord can decide what role the Extension Officer fulfils
within the Forum and externally.
Due to the decision-making
capacity of the Hokianga Accord it is important that those in the
Forum are representative of the people that have appointed them
and that they can make decisions.
Terms of Reference between
the parties of the Hokianga Accord have been drafted and circulated
for input. A Memorandum of Understanding describing the relationship
between the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry of Fisheries is also
being drafted and circulated for feedback. A Working Group has been
nominated to present completed drafts to the next hui.
Fisheries management and
the impact current MFish strategies are having on non-commercial
fishers were explained by Paul Barnes. Interest was high as Paul
explained why fishing during spawning season makes very little difference
to the numbers of fish in the water. The value of pooling our resources
to achieve better fisheries outcomes was clearly explained and generated
positive discussion during the hui.
The Ministry recommend the Hokianga
Accord formulate fisheries plans for important species. The Hokianga
Accord envisages additional MFish funding will be required for the
implementation, maintenance and research of any fisheries plans.
With the active participation
of MFish's Terry Lynch and the Customary Relationship Unit
(Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga) staff this hui was another successful
occasion. The commitment shown by all participants was heartening.
There is a greater understanding of fisheries issues and an appreciation
of the mammoth task in front of the Hokianga Accord. Undaunted,
the Forum has committed to working collaboratively to address common
issues and achieve the goal of –
"more fish in the water"
maha atu nga ika i roto te wai"
After assembling outside
the Whakamaharatanga Marae in Waimamaku, Hokianga we were treated
to a welcoming powhiri by the Hokianga hapu of the Ngapuhi iwi.
Sonny Tau, Ngapuhi Runanga Chairman and facilitator of the hui welcomed
all those who had come to discuss the non-commercial fisheries Forum
and customary Maori management tools.
The Ministry of Fisheries
(MFish) have initiated a process for Maori customary regional forums
to be established around the country. The Customary Relationship
Unit (CRU), Te Tari o te Kahui Pou Hononga, has been created and
will be providing funding of $20,000 per annum to each customary
regional forum. Each region has a representative in the Unit; Graeme
Morrell is one of two Pou Hononga for Te Tai Tokerau (Northland).
Accompanying Graeme Morrell
to the hui were other MFish staff. Carl Ross, Manager of CRU, Operations
Manager (CRU) Tom Teniti, Terry Lynch and George Riley.
Discussions are still
underway whether there will be two Forums or one in the north. This
will be confirmed at a later date. Currently there are three customary
Forums established in other parts of the country.
Parallel to these customary
Forums is a series of regional recreational fisheries Forums.
The major difference being the Minister of Fisheries appoints the
representatives to the proposed recreational forums and they are
not Ministry funded.
At the last hui in July
Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai and Te Rarawa representatives were
adamant they would not participate in segregated forums and wanted
their customary Forum to include recreational non-commercial fishing
representatives  . We have
been advised that the Ministry are struggling to find volunteers
to fill the positions available on the Northland recreational Forum.
It was suggested to MFish that the Te Tai Tokerau Forums be combined
to represent all non-commercial fishers interests and the money
to support the Forums also be combined. No formal response has been
received regarding these suggestions.
A series of points agreed
upon during July's hui included the recommendation that non-commercial
recreational fishing and Maori customary representatives should
be funded by the Ministry to reconvene within four weeks to discuss:
- Terms of Reference for the Forum.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
- A strategic plan for the Forum.
At the conclusion of this
latest hui it was agreed that the next Forum would meet at Whakamaharatanga
Marae. This joint Forum of non-commercial recreational and customary
Maori fishing interests would be called the Hokianga Accord
NZ Recreational Fishing
The NZRFC has historic
connections with tangata whenua. The "Rotorua Accord" led to changes
in their constitution to give recognition to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
1840. Arising out of the 1990's Accord was the facility to have
up to four tangata whenua delegates nominated to the Council of
the NZRFC. Current President, Keith Ingram, advised the hui that
it was up to tangata whenua to organise and nominate the delegates
to the Council. It was not for the NZRFC to stipulate who the tangata
whenua delegates should be. This news was accepted by the hui and
would be discussed by tangata whenua at a later time.
NZ Big Game Fishing Council
Richard Baker represented
the NZBGFC at the hui and once again offered valuable advice and
a unique perspective on the topics discussed. The NZBGFC has 60
member clubs with 30,000 affiliated members and a national management
structure of eight zones feeding into the management committee.
The focus of the Council has broadened in recent years and it actively
participates in other management processes concerning fisheries
of importance to the public including Maori. John Holdsworth is
one of the contractors the Council employs to represent our interests.
The NZBGFC is heavily
committed to supporting the Kahawai Legal Challenge both financially
and with resources. Council President, Jeff Romeril has completed
an affidavit to support the judicial review of the Minister's 2004
kahawai allocation decisions. The NZBGFC fully supports the development
of the Hokianga Accord and is very keen to participate.
option4 has been consistently
represented at these three hui by Paul Barnes, Scott Macindoe, Trish
Rea, Jeff Romeril, John Holdsworth, Richard Baker and Don Glass.
As a result of their attendance there is now a greater understanding
of fisheries management and the various Ministry of Fisheries processes.
One of option4's functions
within the Hokianga Accord could be communication. option4's existing
networks allows it to communicate with a large section of the fishing
public who, we believe, would be interested in measures to
achieve better marine protection and the goal of "more fish
in the water".
It was important New Zealanders
were given the opportunity to learn about the different marine protection
tools available, apart from marine reserves, and the tools available
to tangata whenua. Once people were educated, understood the issues
and recognised the benefits of using Maori management tools to protect
our marine environment there would be less chance of a backlash
against these initiatives. Some participants in the Hokianga Accord
already had initiatives rejected by an "uninformed" public. Judah
Heihei's group in the Bay of Islands now realise the opposition
to their mataitai initiative was born more of ignorance than anti-Maori
sentiment. It is obvious a publicity campaign is needed to educate
the public before we progress too far with any initiatives. To illustrate
this Sonny Tau reminded the hui that it was only very recently that
Maori had come to realise that 99.9% of the time Maori fished to
feed the whanau, Maori were categorised as recreational fishers.
The hui agreed that it was the Ministry's
responsibility to fund such public awareness campaigns and option4
was willing to do its best to assist in creating a more receptive
environment for Maori initiatives to be implemented.
It was important to have measurable outcomes so that the Hokianga
Accord could verify people's understanding of the tools available
to protect and enhance our marine environment. Only when there was
sufficient understanding would it be appropriate to initiate and install
any measures that we could offer. The process would need to be inclusive
of the public to avoid resistance to new measures.
Reference to the Treaty
It was recommended to option4
and the other recreational representative groups present that the
organisations should consider making reference or clearly stating
a position on the Treaty - Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840. This needs
to be discussed and agreed upon amongst each group.
The Crown has a statutory
obligation to tangata whenua in relation to section 12 (1)(b) of
the Fisheries Act 1996, as follows:
1) Before doing
anything under any of sections 11 (1), 11 (4),
11A (1), 13 (1), 13 (4), 13(7), 14 (1), 14 (3), 14 (6), 14B (1),
15 (1), and 15 (2) or recommending the making of an Order in Council
under section 13 (9) or section 14 (8) or section 14A (1)
of this Act, the Minister shall-
(b) Provide for the input
and participation of tangata whenua having-
- A non-commercial
interest in the stock concerned; or
- An interest in
the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment in the area
and have particular
regard to kaitiakitanga.
It was debated several
times during the hui whether the proposed regional customary Forums
would actually fulfil the statutory obligations of the Crown in
respect to section 12 above. MFish considers these Forums, if established
correctly, will meet their obligations.
(Terry Lynch unless
" From the Ministry's
perspective, our statutory obligation is to provide for the input
and participation of tangata whenua, hapu and iwi, into the big
decision making processes. The Government has given us some resources
to put some policy skills on your side of the table so you can
plan for your future and bring them to us instead of us telling
you what your future should be."
Terry went on to say that
the Ministry's responsibilities were:
- Liaison facilitation
- Resourcing the meetings
- Capacity building and training for the people on the forums
Pou Hononga would have
up to 15 Extension Officers available to work with the customary
Forums to assist with their participation into fisheries management
processes and other matters that affect Maori customary fishers.
Currently there are four Extension Officers, all based in Nelson.
The expected number of Extension Officers is comparable to current
numbers of MFish staff in policy/fisheries management around the
MFish envisage each Forum
compiling a plan with annual targets included of what is desired
by the Forum, for their area of interest, preferably in a priority
The Ministry suggested
the Hokianga Accord work together, without their involvement, to
decide on what it wants to do and achieve. The Extension Officer
can assist the Forum at any stage but it would be beneficial to
only call a meeting with MFish after the Forum has made its own
Effective Input and Participation
Input and participation
was also required in the annual fisheries management processes if
the Forum was to be successful. There has been no input and
participation by tangata whenua with a non-commercial interest
in fisheries, at any of the meetings recreational interests have
attended in the past few years.
Working Groups, research
planning and management processes are devoid of active input from
tangata whenua non-commercial interests. This is an area where the
recreational fishing groups could offer some assistance, by being
present, representing non-commercial interests and reporting back
to the Forum. It is possible, depending on experience, that
the Extension Officer could fulfil this role for the Hokianga Accord
and possibly other Forums as well. There is likely to be some fisheries
that are of common interest to all of the Forums and one representative
at these meetings could suffice.
The Hokianga Accord does
not take away the ability of each individual, whanau, hapu, iwi
or group to have input into fisheries management processes. This
is a forum to talk directly with MFish on issues to achieve a common
"In terms of decision-making,
the Forum can make its decision about what its own aspirations are
for the management of the fishery. Input and participation for tangata
whenua is the right to be involved in the decision processes, with
the Crown, about how those fisheries are managed."
Settling on a Terms of Reference and a Memorandum of Understanding
is an important part of the Forum establishment process. Crucial to
this process will be the nomination of who will be participating in
the executive of the Hokianga Accord.
Whakamaharatanga Hui Report 27-29 July 2005
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