Prior to the April hui there was a torrid exchange of correspondence in response to a South Island-based initiative to organise a meeting and discuss creating a single over-arching body that would represent all recreational fishing interests.
On the basis that only national organisations were invited, both Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua were excluded from that meeting. Conversation with Maori would occur later. But Maori are tired of being treated as an after-thought.
One organiser, Nelson Cross, assured Sonny in March that, “This concept is definitely not a fait accompli - Iwi can, will, and must be at the sharp end of decision making with us. Not only do we totally acknowledge this fact but we also welcome it. We are simply taking this initiative one small step at a time and full involvement with Iwi is obviously fundamental to progressing this concept after common ground has been identified with the National bodies.”
In mid-May we learnt the representation proposal had already been presented to the Minister of Fisheries, without any direct input from us. This is not the end of the matter.
The Hokianga Accord will continue to foster the kotahitanga [unity] that has developed between tangata whenua and non-Maori to achieve abundance through better fisheries management and representation, for the benefit of all of our mokopuna [descendants].