Interim rules for customary fishing
Regulation 27A of the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986
Until either the Kaimoana or South Island Customary Fishing Regulations are implemented in an area, Regulation 27A of the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986 will apply to all customary fishing for hui or tangi. This brochure is a guide to explain how authorisations for customary fishing can be obtained and used under Regulation 27A.
Regulation 27A does not remove your right to take fish under the provisions of the Amateur Fishing Regulations but, if you wish to fish outside the general regulations, for a hui or tangi, you must have an authorisation to do so under Regulation 27A.
(This guide does not replace the provisions of Regulation 27A and is not a complete summary of the law. It explains how authorisations for customary fishing can be obtained and used under regulation 27A. You should be aware that there could be changes from time to time.)
What is Regulation 27A all about?
Regulation 27A provides for the taking of fish for the purpose of a hui or tangi. Within the terms of this regulation, hui has been interpreted to mean traditional hui.
The Chief Executive has made conditions on how the fish may be taken. These conditions are considered necessary for the overall conservation and management of the fisheries.
Applies in all areas and to all fish stocks that are managed under the Fisheries Act 1996 until such time as Tangata Tiaki appointments are confirmed by the Minister under the Fisheries (Kaimoana Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998 or the Fisheries (South Island Customary Fishing) Regulations 1999.
Conditions applying to Regulation 27A
The following conditions apply to the taking of fish for a hui or a tangi:
- You must obtain a written authorisation before you go fishing and you must have the authorisation with you while you are fishing.
- Your written authorisation must be issued by an authorised representative of a marae committee, Māori committee, Runanga or Māori Trust Board that represents the tangata whenua of the area you wish to fish.
- You must not sell, exchange, trade or fund raise using any of the fish taken under the authorisation for money or other items under any circumstances.
- Authorised representative must be satisfied that the fish will not be sold, exchanged or traded before issuing an authorisation.
- All fishing gear used and left unattended must be marked with the authorisation number (buoy, float or surface tag).
- No fishing inside an area notified under either the Kaimoana or South Island Customary regulations.
- Authorisation must accompany any fish taken under an authorisation to the venue where it will be used.
Download Interim Rules for Customary Fishing Brochure (PDF 1.96MB)
Please note this is a large document and may take some time to download.
Offences and Penalties (Fishers)
Catch inspections will be undertaken from time to time by Fishery Officers or Honorary Fishery Officers. Please keep your authorisation available for inspection. Your co-operation will be appreciated.
Breaking the provisions of Regulation 27A can result in penalties of up to $10,000 and up to $20,000 for some species and quantities. Infringement notices with penalties of up to $500 can also apply.
Fishing of a commercial nature, for financial gain or trade, will be subject to the provisions of the Fisheries Act, which allows forfeiture of property and fines of up to $250,000.
Offences and Penalties (Authorised Representatives)
There are a range of offences with a $10,000 penalty that applies. These include:
- Authorisation not in the form as per the regulations
- Authorised Representative's name and contact details not notified to Ministry of Fisheries
- Authorisation issued for areas where Kaimoana or South Island regulations apply
- Authorisation issued for commercial, pecuniary gain or trade
- No unique serial number allocated to the authorisation
- Day/time not shown on form
- All sections (except optional) not completed
- Authorised Representative fails to keep copy of authorisation
- Authorised Representative fails to produce a copy of the authorisation when requested to by a Fishery Officer
- Authorised Representative is not an authorised representative and purports to issue an authorisation as if they were.
Your written authorisation must state:
- Who the holder is
- Who can take fish (names of all the harvesters)
- Which species can be taken
- The maximum number of each species that can be taken (number or greenweight - sacks, bins or bags cannot be used as a measure)
- The area where the fish can be taken from
- The place at which the fish must be landed
- The dates and times within a 48 hour period on which fishing can occur
- The hui or tangi, and the place, where the fish will be used
- The signature, name and contact phone of the person who gave the authorisation to take the fish.
The authorised representative may choose to impose further conditions relating to the size of the fish to be taken and the methods to be used to take the fish. The harvester may be asked to report actual quantities taken. If included these conditions form part of the legal requirements of the authorisation.
Authorised representatives of a marae committee, Māori committee, Runanga or Māori Trust Board that represents the tangata whenua of an area, may issue authorisations for customary fishing within their rohe. It is up to those organisations to determine who will have the authority to issue authorisations. Authorised representatives name and contact details must be notified to the nearest Ministry of Fisheries office.
There are a number of offences and penalties that apply to authorised representatives. Fishers and authorised representatives should make sure they are familiar with these.
The Ministry of Fisheries has printed books of authorisation forms. All authorisations must be in writing and specify all the information required by the conditions on the taking of fish under Regulation 27A.
The Tanagata whenua organisations and/or authorised representatives can obtain books of authorisation forms, free of charge, from their nearest Ministry of Fisheries Office.
For further details of Regulation 27A, or a copy of the Customary Conditions Notice please contact your local Authorised Representative or the Ministry of Fisheries at one of the following locations