Summary of the Government's Proposal to Address Maori Interests In Marine Farming
16 June 2004
1. The aquaculture1 sector has expanded rapidly over the last few years and there is potential for further growth. However, issues related to the tools available to regional councils under the Resource Management Act 1991 resulted in marine farm developers engaging in a 'race for space' as they lodged new marine farm applications over significant amounts of the remaining water space in the coastal marine area.
2. In November 2001 the government decided to provide an integrated planning and decision-making framework that can manage the sustainable development of aquaculture, provide certainty for investment, and allow for expansion while addressing conflict with existing fishing and other rights.
3. The changes require regional councils to use new prescriptive planning tools to deal with the growing number of coastal permit applications for new marine farms2. The reforms will streamline the application process by integrating Resource Management Act 1991 considerations and fisheries-related decision-making into the coastal planning process.
4. Soon after the announcement of the aquaculture moratorium in November 2001, Maori lodged claims with the Waitangi Tribunal in December 2001. The basis of the claim was Maori concern over their ongoing access to coastal space to undertake marine farming, and other associated issues concerning ownership of foreshore and seabed.
Was aquaculture included in the 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement?
5. There was some discussion about the explicit inclusion of aquaculture in the Crown's Fisheries Settlement with Maori back in 1992. At that time, the government had given some consideration to extending the fisheries Quota Management System to cover aquaculture.
6. The 1992 Maori Fisheries Deed of Settlement does deal with some, but not all aspects of aquaculture. To the extent that aquaculture requires the harvesting of wild stock for the stocking of aquaculture farms, claims by Maori in respect of these aspects of aquaculture are settled under the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992. What the Fisheries Settlement does not address is claims to space - the use of coastal space for marine farming.
7. The Waitangi Tribunal, but not the Courts, have found that Maori do have interests in aquaculture.
Addressing Maori interests in marine farming
8. The government proposes to address Maori interests in marine farming in line with the principles of, and consistent with, the 1992 Fisheries Settlement (the Fisheries Deed of Settlement was signed in September 1992).
9. As a proxy for rights Maori would otherwise have received had the government decided to manage the spatial component of marine farming in the Quota Management System, the Government intends to provide iwi with, where possible, an allocation of an area equivalent to 20% of the total space allocated since 1992 and of the new marine farming space to be allocated in Aquaculture Management Areas for marine farming purposes.
10. Maori marine farming claims post September 1992 would be settled and any historical marine farming claims (pre-September 1992) would be addressed through the historical Treaty claims process.
11. In order to obtain space equivalent to 20% of space allocated since 1992 and depending on the individual circumstances in each region, the Crown would either provide more of the new space in that region or purchase existing space or provide the financial equivalent.
12. Where there is no existing or proposed marine farming, then there is no requirement for any space or equivalent to be provided to iwi.
13. Space in this context is the provision of the authority to apply for resource consent to undertake marine farming in a particular part of an approved Aquaculture Management Area. 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.
14. The Resource Management Act 1991 only applies out to 12 nautical miles (New Zealand's Territorial Sea). As this proposal is based on providing Maori with a proportion of Aquaculture Management Areas it will therefore only provide space in the coastal marine area out to 12 nautical miles.
15. Councils' ability to amend coastal management over time would not be affected. Fluctuations in marine farming space within a region would not be justification for further allocation to Maori, provided iwi retain 20% of space within that region.
16. Any marine farming space allocated to Maori would be provided to Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited to hold until direct allocation to iwi. Iwi would be those same iwi who are entitled to receive an allocation of inshore fisheries quota.
17. It is proposed that provisions similar to those in the Maori Fisheries Bill for iwi mandating, governance arrangements and coastline agreements be used in regard to marine farming.
18. Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited could use the space in the interim until iwi governance and mandating requirements are met, but only with the agreement of the relevant iwi.
19. The Aquaculture Reform Bill will provide for Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited to develop a process to give effect to this proposed role which must be approved by the Ministers of Fisheries and Maori Affairs.
1. The term "aquaculture" refers to all fish farming (as defined under the Fisheries Act 1996) whether on land or in the coastal marine area. Fish farming does not include enhancement activity, which relates to the artificial enhancement of wild stocks that are not in the exclusive possession or control of any particular entity.
2. The term "marine farm" and "marine farming" refers only to fish farming that occurs in the coastal marine area.