Government takes major step in reform of marine farming
17 June, 2004
Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and the Maori Affairs Minister, Parekura Horomia, today met with key Maori stakeholders to advance marine farming reforms.
In November 2001 a moratorium was placed on the issuing of new consents for marine farms to allow for the creation of a new management regime. This was in response to the "race for space" that had developed within the industry.
Since then a new framework has been developed for regional councils to manage aquaculture. Settling Maori interests in marine farming is one of the important steps needed to progress these reforms.
Today the government met with Maori proposing to follow a similar model to the historic 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement, which settled outstanding Maori fisheries grievances but which did not address the spatial element of marine farming.
This dialogue was part of a decision-making process requiring feedback from Maori before final policy decisions are made.
"The Government intends to provide iwi with, where possible, an allocation of an area equivalent to 20 per cent of the total marine farming space allocated since 1992, and 20 per cent of any new marine farming space" said Mr Benson-Pope.
"This proposal represents a sound basis for Maori and the marine farming sector to move forward. It is in line with the 1992 Fisheries Settlement, and would be a full and final settlement of Maori claims to commercial marine farming, post September 1992."
Any marine farming space provided to iwi would be subject to all general Resource Management Act requirements, including the resource consent application process, resource consent expiry and environmental considerations.
"This is an important step," said David Benson-Pope. "Settling Maori interests and finalising the reforms, means the industry can move into the future with certainty.
"Today we outlined the plan to a group of Maori with a specific interest in the proposal. We have asked them to consider it and we look forward to receiving their feedback over the coming days.
"We are confident that this proposal will address Maori concerns and enable the smooth progression of the Aquaculture Reform Bill later this year. Cabinet will make final decisions on this approach within the next few weeks"
For further information, please see the attached summary of proposal and questions and answers.
Contact: Pete Coleman (Press Secretary) (04) 471- 9685 or 021-811-003