Media Background Information
Ngapuhi are New Zealand's
biggest iwi. Their tribal boundary extends from south of Whangarei
to the north of the Hokianga Harbour. Over 100,000 people belong
The New Zealand Big Game
Fishing Council has national affiliates and represents over 33,000
members through fishing clubs.
The New Zealand Recreational
Fishing Council is the peak organisation for fishing clubs and individual
option4 is an NGO that promotes
the interests of non-commercial marine fishers in New Zealand.
What has just happened?
Non-commercial fishing interests
have met to discuss how to work together to rebuild important inshore
shared fisheries that of mutual concern for both Maori and non-Maori.
Why has this happened?
People are concerned about
the mismanagement of the inshore fisheries by the Ministry of Fisheries
and successive Ministers. Most of the important fisheries have fallen
below acceptable levels reducing people's ability to gather food
from the sea.
Why was this action
Maori have believed for years
that their non-commercial fishing interests would be protected by
the customary fisheries regulations. The Ministry of Fisheries has
done nothing to dispel this notion. Maori are coming to realise
that when they fish to feed their families they are categorised
as recreational fishers.
What will be achieved?
More fish in the water is
the objective. Maori and non-Maori representatives will work together
on issues of mutual concern and share information between groups.
It is hoped more iwi will support this initiative and form a strong
collective that can deal with the Ministry of Fisheries and Department
of Conservation. There is strength in unity.
What needs to be
Communication is the key.
A network needs to be established so we can share information in
an open and transparent manner. Before we achieve this we need to
fully understand each other's concerns. There is a lot more talking
required before we will appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Progress will be made as we link our people together and work to
achieve a common goal of more fish in the water.
How is customary
The regulations relating
to customary fishing is in section 186 of the Fisheries Act 1996.
How is recreational
Recreational fishing in managed
according to the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986.
What is the preference
The Quota Management System
was "sold" to non-commercial fishers as a mechanism to control commercial
catch in 1986. Commercial fishers were causing the fishery to decline;
they were threatening inshore stocks that were nearly all depleted.
The public gave their agreement to the QMS on the basis of the promise
made by Government.
What is Moyle's Promise
Government's position is
clear, where a species of fish is not sufficiently abundant to support
both commercial and non-commercial fishing, preference will be given
to non-commercial fishing. This position reflects Government's resolve
to ensure all New Zealanders can enjoy and benefit from our fisheries.
Both Maori and non-Maori
fishing representatives have a lot of work to do to convince their
"constituents" that this partnership is worth pursuing and has potential.
It is now recognised we have so much in common. Ngapuhi leadership
are holding talks with their people. The recreational fishing organisations
also have a mission to go out to the public and explain the benefits
of working with Ngapuhi to achieve the common goal.