Bay of Plenty iwi fisheries forum established
A formal, working relationship has begun between the Ministry of Fisheries and Bay of Plenty iwi and hapu.
This occurred with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and Mai I Nga Kuri a Wharei Ki Tihirau Regional Fisheries Forum (Bay of Plenty Forum) members at Wairaka Marae, today.
It has taken Bay of Plenty forum members and the Ministry nearly four years to get to this stage, says Ministry of Fisheries Chief Executive John Glaister.
“The concept of Regional Fisheries Forums was developed here in the Bay of Plenty by its iwi and hapu working together with the Ministry of Fisheries. It’s good to see the commitment all these parties have put into developing the formal relationship we have all signed up to today,” he says.
“I see these forums as a way of addressing the treaty responsibilities that result from the 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement and the Fisheries Act 1996. And I note that iwi and hapu in other regions have begun following this lead, and are seeking to establish their own regional groups.”
The Bay of Plenty forum group has already worked together on a significant number of Bay of Plenty-wide issues. It has also provided support for local iwi to advance issues in their individual rohe.
“The forum provides a sound platform for iwi to move beyond managing local impacts on their fishing grounds, to become part of the decision-making around wider management issues,” John Glaister says. “This could include decisions that affect fish stocks they use and the impacts on a fish stock across its whole range.”
“Fisheries are important to Maori and to our country as a whole. This Forum provides an opportunity for iwi to work with each other to define common values and goals. It provides an opportunity to work with the Ministry to have those goals recognised and provided for in government processes. And it provides an opportunity for these iwi to work collectively with other fisheries users, so that iwi values are understood and supported within the wider community.”
For more information contact:
Customary Relationship Manager, Ministry of Fisheries
Ph 04 819 4669 or 027 275 8016