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Hui Report July 2005



Whakamaharatanga Marae Hui

Page 3

A hui to discuss non-commercial fishing interests and Maori customary management tools

27-29 July 2005

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Thursday 28th July

Contents Appendices
Mataitai and taiapure Appendix One

Fisheries management

Appendix Two
Regional forums Appendix Three
Marine protected areas  
Hui agreement  

Mataitai and Taiapure


  1. Mataitai - Who decides what is an appropriate size of a mataitai?
  1. MFish have already said that the Kaipara cannot be managed as a separate QMA. Given this, could an area such as the Kaipara be managed as a mataitai? If not, are there any other tools available that can deliver what we are asking for?

MFish Response

The Minister makes the final decision in regards to a mataitai but he does it in conjunction with tangata whenua. MFish acknowledge their processes for getting advice from tangata whenua for the Minister needs improving.

The law doesn't prescribe the size of a mataitai, how big or small it can be. Ministry are looking to pull together all the tools available under the Fisheries Act and put it into a fisheries plan. Ministry hope all fishing and environmental interests will have input into the fisheries plans in the future.

A taiapure was a possible solution; Akaroa was given as an example where a taiapure application had been made for the entire harbour and included in that was several mataitai.

If a taiapure is the appropriate management tool for a harbour, is it possible to constrain the amount of commercial catch taken from a taiapure?


MFish Response

A taiapure is essentially a community based management scheme, a tool that came out of the 1989 interim settlement with tangata whenua. All interests can be involved in its management.

Mataitai are specific management tools for tangata whenua. Tools that help to better define and utilise their customary rights. "Mataitai is a much more powerful tool in terms of protecting and enhancing customary fishing rights." Mataitai management is lead by tangata whenua but can include others from the community.

"Both tools are important and powerful but it depends what you are trying to achieve. They can be used together or separately. The important thing is, both tools are driven by tangata whenua, not the Ministry of Fisheries, not non-commercial fishers, not commercial fishers but tangata whenua."

A taiapure committee can recommend to the Minister regulations that exclude commercial fishing from that area, " but it has to go through due process".

[Terry Lynch MFish (TL)] " There is no limitation on the size of a mataitai, in law, but there are certain limitations." A mataitai cannot do the following:

  1. "It can't prevent the local people taking their fish in the area. If it does then it doesn't say the mataitai doesn't go ahead, but the Minister has to sit down with the applicants and work out a way to move it forward."
  2. "It can't prevent recreational or non-commercial fishers taking their fish in the FMA."
  3. "It can't prevent commercial fishers taking their quota in the Quota Management Area."

[TL] "If you are starting to look at applying for all the hapu's rohe, the first fellas of the block will probably get it. The last fellas off the block wont." Planning needs to be done with other hapu and iwi for each area.

[TL] " There is no law that says you couldn't manage the Kaipara as a mataitai but you bet your bottom dollar it will be the only one." Because of the size of the Kaipara and it as a proportion of the FMA, then it is likely to be the only mataitai in that whole FMA. There will be repercussions for other iwi and hapu if a mataitai the size of the Kaipara goes ahead.

Commercial fishing is automatically excluded from a mataitai. Commercial fishing can be allowed back in under conditions that have been agreed with the Minister of Fisheries.

Public Awareness

Many initiatives from tangata whenua have failed due to the general public objecting to the plans, without fully understanding the potential of Maori customary management tools.

MFish were asked what their intentions were in regards to advertising and educating the general public on the intricacies and benefits of Maori customary management tools. Also whether there was a budget for such activity.

MFish Response

Ministry accept that "the general public are poorly informed about the way we manage fisheries in New Zealand and what tools are available at the Minister's discretion. The new CEO of the Ministry of Fisheries has established a whole new unit to manage external communications, to get publications, TV, [info] out there to the general public. So we are starting down that path now, basically a proper educational programme. For tangata whenua we are doing something quite specific. We have appointed the Pou Hononga to actually work face to face with tangata whenua on what is available to tangata whenua, the various tools etc. also extension workers to help."

It was pointed out the Ministry have a lot of work to do in raising awareness of the tools before they even start implementing any as the public are generally ignorant, as are many tangata whenua, of the potential. As for a "race" to get the first applications in for mataitai or taiapure before the next hapu or iwi, this is not good enough. Everyone has a right to be fully informed before the process is underway so they don't miss out purely because they are oblivious to what is happening in other areas.


  1. What species will benefit most from mataitai and taiapure and what are the respective sizes of area the Ministry envisages these tools will encompass?

What can be the whole cumulative affect of all the excluded areas as they pertain to a commercial fisherman's ability to catch his quota entitlement in a QMA? If 10% is excluded through marine protected areas, how much of the remaining 90% of the available space will be available for mataitai and taiapure?

MFish Response

"Government's policy is to have 10% of the area closed in marine protected areas.   Marine protected areas is just not marine reserves. Mataitai and other fisheries closures can be counted as part of that 10%... if they are making a contribution to marine biodiversity."

"There is no magic answer to 'how much', the law provides for, in legal terms, is a 'prevent test'." The prevent test would be explained in more detail in another session by Russell Burnard.

Concerns were expressed for iwi/hapu that are not aware of the potential 'race' for space in establishing mataitai or taiapure. The regional forums are a way the Ministry see of iwi/hapu to get informed about what is happening and work together to achieve establishment of management tools. MFish are not keen to sit back and do nothing.

Aotea (Great Barrier) Marine Reserve

Objections were raised about the approved 50,000 ha Aotea (Great Barrier) marine reserve. The impact on tangata whenua does not seem to have been taken into account. Local iwi had applied in December 2004 for their rohe moana and eight months later they still have not had been given any information regarding Maori customary regulations and tools, despite this the marine reserve is progressing.

MFish Response

MFish's role in the Aotea application process currently underway is consultation with all fishers to determine what impact the reserve would have on them. " If the Minister of Fisheries determines that there is an undue impact on customary fishing, non-commercial fishing and commercial fishing he can decline that proposal. We are still going through that proposal. The Ministry of Fisheries will start that consultation process later this year." Stan made a commitment that the Ministry would go to the marae on Aotea, with the Pou Hononga, to consult on the impact of the proposed reserve on customary interests, when consultation gets underway.


Fisheries Management

  1. How is the customary allowance determined?

MFish Response

The Fisheries Act sets the process for setting allowances. In terms of customary allowance, the Minister has to set that first. The Minister does that by using the best available information.   MFish accept they do not currently have good information on harvest levels. Once the customary regulations are fully implemented it is hoped better information will be available through the gathering of harvest records from kaitiaki.

  1. If the Ministry are ultimately responsible for fisheries management. What equitable resourcing will be made available to tangata whenua and their communities to develop and build management capacity to maintain the tools of taiapure and mataitai to assist fisheries management? How have all these mataitai and taiapure been established around the country without assisting them to financially manage these areas?

MFish Response

MFish resources are constrained. $20,000 per annum has been allocated to run each of the regional forums mentioned earlier in the discussion. The Ministry are willing to discuss with each forum how that money is used. MFish staff will assist the forums and the extension workers will help the forums develop their fisheries plans.

Long term it is hoped the Ministry will be able to pay, by way of a contract, the regional forums to develop the fisheries plans. This will empower the regional forum to manage the plan and its implementation with Ministry support.


Regional Forums

Carl Ross, manager of the new Cultural Relationship unit, presented a video to give some background to the Pou Hononga unit, its staff and their business plan. Eleven Pou Hononga have been appointed to work with Maori around the country, one administration person and two managers. A database is being compiled of Maori contacts to be used for distribution of information.

The Ministry envisage up to 14 regional forums being established, currently only three are operational. Tai Tokerau will have two forums funded by MFish; Te Rarawa north will be one forum. Their objective is to build the capacity and capability of Maori to participate in fisheries management. It is also to build capacity within the Ministry for working with Maori.

The Ministry will work with the people to determine how big the regional forums will be, there is no limit to how many people participate in the forums. [CR] "Under the Deed of Settlement the forums are customary."

Further discussion on the regional forums continued into the night.

Hori Porata of Ngati Wai explained the existence of a regional forum that already deals with resource, sustainable management and development issues. The forum meets every six weeks to discuss matters of a regional and national nature.  

Ngapuhi do not want a segregated Maori regional forum. It would be better if the forum included non-commercial fishing interests. Together it would be more powerful and effective. There was strong agreement from Maori and recreational non-commercial fishing interests present at the hui that a joint forum would be beneficial to achieve our goal of "more fish in the water" "Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai"

There was willingness amongst those at the hui to do what we can to help the Ministry achieve what needs to be done to reach the common goal.

Recreational Regional Forums

The Ministry have already completed the selection process for the recreational regional forums, the appointees are yet to be announced. Nominations were called from the public through advertising. That process cannot be undone now.

The hui disagreed with the separate process, considering most Maori fishing is categorised as recreational. Ministry reiterated that the Maori forums were part of the settlement agreement between the Crown and Maori. Tangata whenua can choose who they wish to participate in their forums.

Ministry's goal is to develop multi-sector input into fisheries plans. Ministry do not believe the various non-commercial groups are very well organised, the forums are an attempt to achieve more organisation. MFish are not being critical of existing organisations but believe it is the wider public that is not well represented.

The suggestion that recreational fishers are not organised was offensive to some and it was suggested that it was MFish who was not organised.

The recreational regional forums are an initiative from the Minister of Fisheries. The customary forums are borne out of the Deed of Settlement. Both forums are limited in the support being provided by Ministry. It was pointed out that regional forums have been tried before and the only one that still exists is the southern forum, which had enjoyed more support from MFish compared to other forums. Ministry could not guarantee the new forums would survive long term but they were willing to try the new format being proposed.


Marine Protected Areas

  1. What will qualify a mataitai as a marine protected area?

MFish Response

  "The Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries are presently working on a Marine Protected Areas (MPA) strategy and its near [ready] to sign off. The critical part of the MPA strategy is the development of a protection standard. We need standards so we can evaluate it. If there are bylaws within the mataitai that contribute to and meet the protection standard then it will be counted." The Ministry is committed to consulting on those standards later in the year and into early 2006. Consultation will be with customary, recreational and commercial fishers. If the northern regional forum is operating by that time then the Ministry will be consulting with that group.

From the discussions held it is obvious mataitai and taiapure are not sufficient tools to deal with issues relating to finfish.


Friday 29th July

The MFish team conducted a session on the customary management tools available to Maori. It generated, at times, heated discussion on the practicality of implementing these tools as many at the hui had already tried to have rahui, mataitai and taiapure established in their rohe. Some of those experiences had not been constructive and many felt the Ministry were not as supportive of their initiatives as they could have been.

Hui Agreement

Non-commercial fishing interests fully recognise and respect customary Maori fishing rights. Ngapuhi have acknowledged that a significant portion of their catch is categorised as recreational. This shows the 'sameness' of our interests, we need the same things to get what we want from the fishery. We all need to get this message out to our respective groups.

A working group made up of representatives from Maori, MFish and non-commercial fishing interests drafted a document overnight. This draft was presented to the hui participants in order to gather agreement.

An excellent discussion focussed around this draft continued during the morning session. This document would be given to MFish to take to the Minister as an agreed outcome from all. It was important to make it simple, clear and concise.

The document, Hui outcome 29 7 05 (Appendix Three) was agreed upon and passed unanimously by those at the hui. This was given to Stan Crothers to deliver to the Minister at a meeting scheduled within four days of the conclusion of the hui.



It was agreed that this had been another successful hui ably chaired by Sonny Tau. People had learnt a great deal and there was great anticipation for the first forum to settle on the terms of reference, a Memorandum of Understanding and a strategic plan for the combined forum. The Ministry made a commitment to remove the impediments for Maori to achieve successful outcomes in the use of the customary management tools. The opportunity to work together to achieve the common goal was welcome and the commitment was there from customary, MFish and non-commercial fishing interests.

"More fish in the water"

"Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai"


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