Fishing News Supports the Accord
the Hokianga Accord
This article was originally
published in the New Zealand Fishing News December 2007 edition.
was very pleasing for the mid north iwi fisheries forum, known
as the Hokianga Accord, to receive such resounding support
from the NZ Fishing News (NZFN) editor in the October Candid
As noted in the editorial, a day spent fishing on northern
waters certainly doesn’t produce the results that our
old people talk about, and often not even enough to feed the
Grant Dixon, NZFN editor
are our healthy fisheries?
nine hui and countless discussions amongst Ngapuhi, Ngati
Whatua, Ngati Wai, option4 and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council
(NZBGFC), northern iwi and hapu are beginning to understand
why the quota management system has not delivered healthy
fisheries for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
And while many may argue that Maori now own more than 50
percent of commercial fishing interests in Aotearoa, the
Hokianga Accord have made it abundantly clear that putting
food on the table for the mokopuna (grandchildren) takes
priority over commercial gains made from exporting fish
to foreign tables.
What has surprised
the Accord is the relentless need to continually respond
to fisheries management and marine protection proposals
from both the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) and Department
of Conservation (DoC). For un-resourced volunteers the resulting
workload has been significant.
In the past year
the Accord has been party to a number of significant documents
To do justice
to these and other issues within limited timeframes is a
“big ask” of iwi and hapu from the mid and far
north. Much of the time we are being expected to compromise
our consultation protocols just to follow the official programme.
Poor process leads to inadequate outcomes. Both MFish and
DoC know this.
However, the good news is that these challenges have given
us the chance to work alongside other non-commercial fishers
to achieve the common goal of “more fish in the water/
kia maha atu nga ika i roto i te wai”.
has been the effort non-Maori are making to try and understand
and accept the principles of kaitiakitanga (guardianship/trusteeship).
For Maori this has been an unexpected outcome of the relationship
that has developed between all of us who are particularly
concerned about making sure there is enough fish for our
Local area management by tangata whenua and communities
who treasure their ‘patch’ has to be better
than what we are being force-fed by MFish and DoC, in the
form of depleted fisheries and marine reserves. All we need
are the tools and resources to implement changes that will
deliver benefits that everyone can enjoy.
Encouragement for the Hokianga Accord from the NZFN team
is very heartening. We look forward to reciprocating the
generosity at the tenth hui in Auckland and future hui.
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