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Engagement Parameters


Parameters of Engagement

Ministry of Fisheries

5 December 2005

Hokianga Report

Appendix One

 

Contents:
Background
Constraints on MFish
Engagement processes
Appendix Two

5 December 2005

The Chairman

Hokianga Accord Work Party

Tena koe Sonny

Parameters for Ministry of Fisheries engagement on Terms of reference and memorandum of understanding with the hokianga accord

Background

  1. Representatives of the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry of Fisheries have been tasked with developing a relationship document that will establish how the parties will work together to:
    1. better provide for the input and participation of hapu and iwi participating in the Accord, into the Ministry's sustainability process;
    2. interactions between hapu and iwi on a range of business group activities that may be agreed between hapu and iwi representatives and the Ministry.
  1. Hapu and Iwi representatives of Nga puhi, Ngati wai and Ngati Whatua (including Te Roroa and Te Uri O Hau) have indicated to the Ministry of Fisheries that the majority of hapu /iwi non-commercial fishing activities is conducted under the provisions of a range of amateur fishing regulations, rather than under the customary fishing provisions provided through Part IX of the Fisheries Act 1996. This situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
  2. In view of the predominant use of amateur fishing regulations by hapu/iwi members to take fish for non-commercial purposes, Iwi representatives and recreational fishing interests in the area have recognised that they have many areas of common concern.   They have established a commitment between themselves to work together to advocate fisheries management outcomes that will provide benefit to customary fishers, amateur fishers and the fishery resources that they utilise.   The Ministry recognises the constructive approach taken by the groups to work co-operatively together.
  3. To assist the groups to work together, hapu and Iwi in Mid Tai Tokerau have chosen to invite representatives from a number of recreational fisheries groups to participate in processes that may be established with the Ministry of Fisheries to address the Ministry's statutory obligations to provide for the input and participation of hapu and iwi with a customary interest in fisheries into a range of sustainability processes run by the Ministry of Fisheries.   The Ministry has recognised the right of hapu and iwi to extend this invitation to recreational fishers to contribute to iwi processes.
  4. The Ministry has a range of statutory duties and government requirements that it must adhere to in interactions with any party.   These duties and requirements will need to be recognized and provided for in any relationship documents or operational processes that may be developed between Hapu/Iwi and the Ministry to provide for input and participation into fisheries processes.
  5. The Ministry is seeking to constructively work with hapu and Iwi representatives to provide for their invitation and desire to work with recreational groups.   To that end, the Ministry seeks to contribute to the development of relationship documents that will meet the objectives of hapu/iwi and recreational fishers, while recognising the constraints imposed on the Ministry by statute and government policy.

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Constraints on the Ministry of Fisheries

Legislation

  1. Any undertakings by the Ministry either arising from a Terms of Reference (TOR) between iwi and other parties, or through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between iwi and the Ministry must take account of and be consistent with the following legislative requirements.
  2. Section 5 of the Fisheries Act 1996 requires any decision maker to act in a manner consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992, (TOW(FC)S Act.   The TOW(FC)S Act in turn requires that the Act be interpreted in a manner that will give best effect to the 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement.   The TOW(FC)S Act requires that the Minister of Fisheries recommend regulations to recognise and provide for customary food gathering by Maori and the special relationship between tangata whenua and places of customary food gathering importance.   It also provides for tangata whenua to request the Minister to develop policies or programmes to recognise and provide for customary food gathering interests, where the current provisions developed under Part IX of the Act do not achieve that objective.
  3. Section 12 (1)(a) of the Fisheries Act sets out the consultation requirements the Ministry must undertake with Maori and sector groups.
  4. Section 12(1)(b) requires that the Minister must provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in a stock or an interest in the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment, and have particular regard to kaitiakitanga.   Section 12(b) applies only to tangata whenua (being hapu and iwi who hold manawhenua over an area where a fishery under discussion exists).   It does not apply to tangata whenua who do not hold mana whenua in the area of a fishery under discussion, or to any of the other sector groups.
  5. The Fisheries Act sets out processes relating to the management of fisheries.   In general, the Fisheries Act sets the scale of management for fisheries at a stock level, either through Fisheries Plans, QMAs or FMAs.   The Act also provides for smaller scale management of customarily important fisheries through Part IX tools or, where commercial fishing activities unreasonably impact on amateur catches rates for areas of importance to amateur fishing to be closed after disputes resolution und Part VII.

Government Policy

  1. The Ministry is required to act in accordance with and promote government policy.   It is also required to carry out the directions of the Minister.

Input and Participation

  1. The Government and Minister has determined, after consultation with iwi, that the primary vehicle to discharge the Ministry's legal duty to provide for the input and participation of hapu and iwi will be Regional Iwi Fisheries Forums.   Funding has been provided specifically to address this duty to tangata whenua.   The Ministry is not able to expend resources targeted for this purpose in other areas without Ministerial agreement.

Crown Maori Relationship Instruments Framework

  1. Cabinet requires that any documents that have the effect of committing government agencies to relationships or actions with Iwi must conform to the requirements of the Crown Maori Relation ship Instruments Framework.   The Ministry of Justice and Te Puni Kokiri are tasked with assessing a document for consistency with the Framework before it is sent to Cabinet for approval.   The Ministry does not have discretion to agree to documents.   It can participate in good faith, to advise what conforms to the Framework and then take the resulting document into Government processes for consideration.

Non-commercial consultation

  1. The Government and Minister's policy is that the primary vehicle to provide advice to the Minister on matters of concern to recreational fishers is the Ministerial Recreational Advisory Committee and Regional Recreational Fishing Forums.   The groups at both levels have been selected to represent a wide breadth of interest, including Maori.   Funding has been provided specifically for the support of the Ministerial Advisory Committee and Regional Recreational Forums, one of which is based in Whangarei, and which covers the whole of Northland.   The Ministry must operate consistently with the Government's policy direction and work with these bodies to provide advice and raise issues relating to the recreational fishing sector.

Statement of Intent

  1. The Ministry of Fisheries issues a Statement of Intent (SOI) for a three year period that is approved by the Minister.   The SOI sets out the activities that the Ministry is funded for and gives broad guidance to the activities the Ministry will carry out.   The current SOI also sets out the activities of the ministry in the 05/06 financial year.   The Ministry must act consistently with the SOI while it is in force, although the Minister may direct or agree to re-prioritisation of activities or effort.

Fisheries Plans

  1. The Ministry policy, confirmed through Government of the SOI, is that Fisheries Plans will be the primary vehicle for management of fish stocks and for interaction amongst Iwi and stakeholders, and between Iwi, stakeholders and the Ministry on issues relating to the development of stock management and allocation.   The Ministry's priority must be to develop Fisheries Plans as the primary stock management mechanism.   We are currently developing three proof of concept fisheries plans as a fist step towards wider use of fisheries plans.

Funding

Input and Participation

  1. The Government has provided specific funding to assist hapu and iwi to have input into and participate in fisheries sustainability processes through Regional Iwi Forums.   The Ministry has budgeted $20,000 to meet the costs of holding meetings, including travel of hapu/iwi representatives, venue, and catering.   The Ministry is accountable for ensuring that funding that is allocated for specific programmes is expended in those areas.   Funding for input and participation of hapu and iwi in the Forum processes cannot be re-allocated for other purposes without the approval of the Minister.
  2. The Ministry is prepared to consider contracting the current budget for the organisation of Forum meetings to an iwi structure that is agreed to by all the participating hapu and iwi groups.   The contracting party would need to be a legal entity that could enter into such a contract.   It would also need to meet the conditions of any contract, such as to organise and hold an agreed number of meetings of agreed hapu/iwi representatives in accordance with a timetable approved by that Forum and the Ministry.   The Ministry is prepared to discuss this matter in more detail if it is considered that the approach has merit.
  3. In addition to the budget for conducting meetings of the Forums, the Ministry has been provided with funding to provide policy/operational support to the Forums to enable hapu/iwi to develop their views on the sustainable utilisation of the fisheries in their areas.   Government has primarily targeted this funding to employ extension officers within the Ministry to work with the Forums.   The SOI proposes in future that these positions could be contracted to the Forums.   The Ministry is open to working with hapu and iwi of the Forum on the circumstances in which either the positions or funding might transfer to the Forum. These discussion should include governance arrangements, accountability procedures and the purposes for which these resources might be used that would be consistent with Governments funding decisions.

Non-commercial consultation

  1. Government has made specific decisions on the establishment of the Ministerial Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee and Regional Recreational Fisheries Forums.   The Government has provided the Ministry with specific funding to resource the meetings of both groups.   As with funding for input and participation of tangata whenua, the Ministry is not able to expend resources targeted for the Ministerial Recreational Advisory Committees and recreational forum for other purposes without Ministerial approval.

New Funding

  1. The Ministry's existing resources are under significant pressure.   In addition, it is highly unlikely that new funding will be provided to the Ministry in the near term for existing or new projects.   In that circumstance the Ministry is constrained as to the quantity of resources it can put into the Forum process.

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Engagement processes

Terms of Reference

  1. The Ministry does not see it self as being a signatory to the Hokianga Accord, although it accepts responsibilities to act in specified ways when working with the Group.   In addition, given the constraints on the Ministry's ability to commit to outcomes that are at variance with legislation or government policy, it is useful for iwi and recreational representatives to develop a TOR setting out their owns objectives for fisheries management and procedures to work together to achieve those objectives. A TOR could include, amongst others things:
  1. their interests in fisheries or fish stocks;
  2. roles in legislation;
  3. mechanisms to involve each other in the processes arising from legislation (like the iwi regional forums) or non-statutory sources (like representation on recreational fishing organizations);
  4. each iwi and recreational groups goals and objectives for fisheries(s) or fish stocks;
  5. common goals and objectives of iwi;
  6. common goals and objectives of iwi and recreational groups;
  7. processes to work together on specific issues, procedures to resolve disagreements where goals and objectives differ for a fishery;
  8. activities or programmes to plan and work towards achieving objectives including iwi fisheries plans, advocacy processes, and publicity /communications processes and engagement processes with other sectors and government agencies.
  1. The TOR is a useful mechanism to:
  1. establish a long-term framework to identify the groups aspirations for the fishery;
  2. their views on how to advocate or, where provided in legislation to undertake activities to achieve the groups goals and objectives;
  3. maintain the focus of the group on to issues of key importance.
  1. There may be areas set out in a TOR where the Ministry could not commit to work with the Hokianga Accord to achieve an outcome because of conflicts with the constraints identified above.   However, this would not preclude the Accord advocating for those outcomes itself, to other stakeholder groups, local or central government or the public.
  2. The Ministry has provided comment on the draft TOR for the Hokianga Accord and welcomes the opportunity to assist in the further development of the document. A copy of those comments is attached as Annexe I.

Memorandum of Understanding

  1. In general, MOUs are documents that set out a range of activities on which the parties will interact and how parties behave and work together on those activities.   MOU's do not generally set out agreements on outcomes on specific activities.
  2. The Ministry considers that the purpose of the MOU, in this case, is to set out the relationship and activities that iwi and the Ministry will undertake to better provide for input and participation of tangata whenua in fisheries sustainability processes and iwi involvement in specified business processes of the Ministry.
  3. The Ministry considers that their should be a MOU between the Iwi of the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry.   The Ministry has provided a draft MOU that meets the CMRI Framework requirements.   A copy of the draft MOU is attached as Annexe II.
  4. However, the Ministry recognises as constructive the desire of iwi and recreational fishers to work together on areas of common interest.   In view of the unique situation arising from the iwi invitation to recreational fishing representatives to participate in this iwi regional forum, this draft will need some modification.   In particular the Ministry considers that the document could better specify:
  1. The role of hapu/iwi and the Ministry in the MOU;
  2. The role of recreational representatives in the Iwi Forum;
  3. procedures to provide and share information (what information, to whom and in what time frames);
  4. disputes resolution procedures;
  5. decision making processes.
  1. In addition, the MOU could note areas of work that the parties agree should be given priority and which could be developed in more detailed supporting documents to the MOU, including:
  1. timing and frequency of meetings amongst the members of the Hokianga Accord and between the Accord and the Ministry;
  2. operating procedures for Forum meetings, including codes of behaviour;
  3. funding of meetings;
  4. the circumstances in which either the positions or funding for extension services might transfer to the Forum, including appropriate governance arrangements, accountability procedures and the purposes for which these resources might be used.
  1. We look forward to working with you to develop an MOU that will establish a positive and enduring working relationship between, the Hokianga Accord and the Ministry.

 

Noho ora mai

Mark Edwards              

Manager

Fisheries Policy

Jonathan Peacey

National Manager

Fisheries Operations                                                                                                                              

 

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