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Northland Hui

Whakamaharatanga Hui to Discuss Non-commercial Fishing Interests and Maori Customary Management Tools

27-29 July 2005


This document was an appendix to the option4 submissions sent to the Ministry of Fisheries during the review of sustainability measures for the 2005-06 fishing year. It was also an appendix to the full report of the hui. Full report of the hui available here » »

Flounder 1
Grey Mullet 1
Kingfish 8
Proportional allocations
Snapper 8



On the 28th July 2005 the Ministry of Fisheries were invited to Whakamaharatanga Marae to have meaningful discussion on issues raised by those attending the hui. Discussions took place on a way forward and the conception of, and attendance of, customary regional forums.


Up until 1992, when Maori went fishing to feed their whanau, they were customary fishers. They took enough fish to feed the family within traditional practices. After the signing of the Sealords deal the situation changed forever. Maori are now categorised as recreational fishers when fishing for food to feed their children.  

Over the last 12 years Maori have been engaged in dealing with their commercial allocation of quota. Now that the asset has been settled and is close to being finalised, Maori have finally realised that their non-commercial interests are threatened by a lack of fish in the water.

In the last year Ngapuhi have been in consultation with other non-commercial fishing interests and have come to the conclusion that they have much in common. With closer relationship building it has been established that because of the depletion of the inshore shared fisheries the main common desire is more fish in the water.

Consultation has now widened to include other iwi within the Tai Tokerau region who have also concluded they must work together with other non-commercial fishing interests to achieve the objective of more fish in the water.

Those present at the hui agreed upon the following:


  • We all want more fish in the water.
  • Customary and recreational fishing interests all agreed that there is insufficient abundance to meet the requirements of non-commercial fishers in many inshore shared fisheries.
  • Greater understanding of fisheries management processes has developed through dialogue.
  • There is universal agreement about the deficiency of the current management of our fisheries.
  • MFish acknowledge some failure in their fisheries management.
  • Non-commercial fishers raised a list of issues that they believe need to be addressed regarding initial allocations, illegal and unethical activity by commercial fishers. These issues will need to be addressed as an essential component of regaining trust that the QMS can deal fairly with both commercial and non-commercial interests.
  • MFish acknowledge that without goodwill it is difficult to effectively reduce non-commercial catch.
  • It was agreed that goodwill was eroded when historic conservation efforts went unaccounted for in recent fisheries management decisions and proposals.
  • Public awareness and good understanding of the need for change is essential if goodwill is expected.
  • MFish have acknowledged research funding is limited.


  • We agreed that mataitai and taiapure were potentially excellent customary tools for managing sedentary species but were unlikely to have much effect on mobile finfish stocks.
  • More resources are needed to be applied to implement and maintain customary tools.
  • Kaitiakitanga is caring for the fish stocks. Iwi agree kaitiakitanga is for the benefit of all.
  • Customary interests accepted the forums proposed by the Te Tari o Te Kahui Pou Hononga.
  • It was agreed the customary forum must include all non-commercial fishing interests.
  • Iwi still maintain their customary rights under the Settlement Deed.
  • Recreational fishing interests have developed an appreciation of tikanga associated with customary fishing.
  • Before the promulgation of customary management tools education has to be provided to the public.


  • Recreational fishing interests fully recognise and respect customary fishing rights.
  • Ngapuhi acknowledge that a significant portion of their catch is currently categorised as recreational.
  • Recreational fishers have achieved a good understanding of how the above two points interact with Ngapuhi's commercial fishing interests.
  • It was agreed by recreational fishing interests that our interests, in this respect, coincide to a great extent.
  • We have achieved a common understanding of each others (customary and recreational) aspirations in shared fisheries.


  • No-take marine reserves were not a solution to poor fisheries management.


  • We recommend that non-commercial fishers work collaboratively on the response to the current Ministry Initial Position Papers. The drafts are already prepared for the response to the SNA8, FLA1, GMU1 and kahawai proposals. The proportional allocation document will form part of the submissions. This is to help achieve the objective of more fish in the water. The decisions on these fisheries will take effect on 1 October this year.
  • We recommend that if there are any outstanding issues from the proportional document, the Ministry and representatives from this hui will meet to discuss those issues after 1 October.
  • We recommend that we should reconvene within four weeks. This hui will be funded by the Ministry.
  • We recommend discussions will be on the terms of reference, a Memorandum of Understanding and a strategic plan for the forum.


« « Appendix 2  



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