still for process
the option4 team
This article was originally
written for the New Zealand Fishing News December 2008 edition.
has received an incomplete response from the Ministry of
Fisheries in regards to the Official Information Act request
for background information on the proposal to amend section
13 of the Fisheries Act 1996.
but not all, of the requested documents were released.
three documents were provided prior to the amendment being
passed through the parliamentary process. The remaining copies
were received in the same week the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment
Act 2008 took effect.
These documents have now been reviewed and a timeline
has been compiled online.
As joint submitters option4, the Hokianga Accord and the New
Zealand Big Game Fishing Council still hold major concerns
about the amendment process and the new section 13(2A).
Both the fisheries Minister and Ministry acknowledged the
need to have Maori involved in the amendment process however,
due to the urgency they considered there would not be time
to consult with all iwi.
they would discuss the amendment with Te Ohu Kaimoana, Te
Puni Kokiri and the fishing industry.
non-commercial fishing interests were not formally advised
of the amendment process until four months later, in late
fishing interests, both customary and recreational, could
have expected to be involved early in the amendment process
given the Crown’s ongoing statutory obligations contained
in the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement
Act 1992 and the Fisheries Act.
A Transitional Provision relating to consultation was included
in the Amendment Bill and subsequent Act. This is significant
acknowledgement by the Crown of their statutory obligations
to provide for the ‘input and participation’
of tangata whenua in fisheries management and have particular
regard to kaitiakitanga, as per section 12 of the Fisheries
The passage of
this transitional clause has enabled the Minister to sidestep
his otherwise mandatory obligations under section 12.
of managing fisheries
Of particular interest to
all non-commercial fishers, both Maori and non-Maori, is the
purpose of the Fisheries Act, which is sustainable utilisation
of fisheries to enable people to provide for their social,
economic and cultural wellbeing. In part this means having
sufficient numbers of acceptable quality fish in the places
that people normally fish for food.
Originally the objective of the proposed amendment was to
achieve this purpose however, in the period from April to
June the focus changed. The new objective was to achieve maximum
sustainable yield in a fishery.
Maximum sustainable yield is not a customary concept whereas
kaitiakitanga is. The question remains as to whether a focus
on maximum yield may be at odds with the 1992 Settlement Deed,
by potentially allowing the depletion of resources below a
level that both enables tangata whenua to exercise their customary
rights and recognises their traditional interests in fisheries.
Satisfying customary interests in fisheries and enabling the
meaningful exercise of these traditional rights requires diversity,
abundance, the ability to exercise authority over human activity
and a balance in nature.
From a non-commercial Maori customary, traditional, environmental
and recreational fisher’s perspective, it is inappropriate
to exchange these values for maximum sustainable yield.
An analysis of
Maori customary involvement in the section 13 amendment
process is now available online here.....................................................................(PDF
|If you value the work option4
is doing please use the secure online facility available
here and invest in your fishing future.
to Updates Index page here >> >>