Whakapuaka Taiapure formally established
19 March 2002
A bay of deep historic and cultural significance to Nelson's Ngäti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu becomes a taiapure-local fishery on Thursday.
The Whakapuaka Taiapure is at Delaware Bay, east of Nelson, and covers an area from Ataata Point to Whangamoa Head, and takes in Cable Bay and Pepin Island.
Many Nelson people know of the role that local Mäori undertook in saving the lives of the crew of the "Delaware" when it ran aground on rocks at the northern end of the beach at Whakapuaka in 1863. A number of the rescuers were rewarded for their bravery.
Mäori occupied the Whakapuaka area well before the arrival of the first Europeans however, and parts of the area remain in Mäori ownership today. For example, the Wakapuaka 1B Incorporation farm, adjacent to Delaware Bay, is a property that is run as a commercial sheep, beef and forestry enterprise.
To the Ngäti Tama people, Whakapuaka is "home", a place where many of their ancestors are buried and the place they aspire to return to one day. Haua, the urupä at the end of the Delaware Spit, is still the burial place of Ngäti Tama families who are directly connected to Whakapuaka.
A taiapure-local fishery is established under the Fisheries Act 1996 and results from negotiations between the Crown and Mäori on customary fishing rights stemming from the Treaty of Waitangi. In order to set up a taiapure, a proposal must go through a public participation process.
The process to establish the Whakapuaka Taiapure was begun in 1996 by the Ngäti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust, which formed a broadly representative establishment committee representing a wide range of fisheries and community interests. The proposal to establish the taiapure-local fishery was lodged with the Minister of Fisheries in November 1997.
After approval in principle from the government of the time, notice of the proposal was publicised in the Gazette in March 1999. Objections and submissions to the Mäori Land Court were considered as part of a public enquiry held in Nelson in March 2000. The Minister of Fisheries, Hon Pete Hodgson, after consulting with his colleague, the Minister of Mäori Affairs, accepted the Court's recommendation that a taiapure-local fishery should be established at Delaware Bay. Notice to this effect was published in the Gazette in August last year. No appeals on the recommendation or the Minister's decision were received. Accordingly, the Governor-General, by Order in Council, has declared an area from Ataata Point to Whangamoa Head at Delaware Bay a taiapure-local fishery.
The Trust's goal for the Whakapuaka Taiapure is to protect, manage and enhance an area of historic and cultural importance to Ngäti Tama with these objectives: to -
- manage the area conservatively so that fish stocks recover, especially paua, lobster, flounder, snapper, kina, oysters and scallops
- impose conservative recreational catch limits
- restrict commercial fishing, although it has been agreed there will no restrictions on the commercial sector in respect to the taking of oysters, scallops, finish or crayfish seaward of a line between Red Point and Puketi Point
- establish a five-year moratorium on traditional fishing
- actively enhance appropriate stocks
- implement a research programme, aimed at testing the viability of enhancing specific species within the taiapure.
Now the taiapure-local fishery has been established, a Management Committee will be formed. Ngäti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu has indicated the Committee will reflect the broad community interest in the area at Delaware Bay. The Minister of Fisheries, therefore, will be asked to appoint members to the Committee who represent Mäori, the local community, recreational and commercial fishing interest groups, and environmental interests. Once established, the Committee can recommend that the Minister creates regulations under the Fisheries Act for the conservation and management of the fish, aquatic life, or seaweed in the taiapure-local fishery at Delaware Bay.
Within fisheries legislation a range of mechanisms provides for the sustainable utilisation and, where necessary, the protection of this country's fisheries resources; for example taiapure-local fisheries, mätaitai reserves, and temporary closures-these are designed to support customary fisheries management. The legislation also contains the framework that controls recreational fishing and manages the quota management system. This means that for any given fisheries issue there is a range of potential solutions in the legislative 'tool box'. Ngäti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu, in looking at the future management of Delaware Bay, decided to propose a taiapure-local fishery.
The Trustees of the Ngäti Tama Manawhenua ki Te Tau Ihu Trust and the Wakapuaka 1B Incorporation, wish to thank the many individuals, community organisations and agencies that participated in the establishment committee, and look forward to their involvement in the ongoing management of the Whakapuaka Taiapure.