New Mataitai reserve for Waikawa / Tumu Toka in Southland
11 September 2008
A new mätaitai reserve over waters within Waikawa Harbour, Porpoise Bay, Curio Bay and the lower section of the Waikawa River is to be established, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.
Mätaitai reserves are established under the South Island customary fishing regulations and recognise traditional Mäori fishing grounds that are important for customary food gathering. They also allow local Mäori to advise the Fisheries Minister directly on how best to manage fishing in the local area.
Jim Anderton said this mätaitai reserve allows Te Rünanga o Awarua to more effectively manage customary fishing in these important traditional fishing grounds.
“The reserve recognises the strong and enduring connection local Mäori has with this area.”
Commercial fishing will be banned within the 7.02 km2 mätaitai reserve but recreational and customary fishing will still be allowed. Recreational fishing will not require a permit from local Mäori.
Jim Anderton said the Waikawa / Tumu Toka mätaitai reserve would have no effect on the local community’s ability to go fishing or gather shellfish under the existing recreational allowances.
In the future, the Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki (guardians) for the mätaitai reserve may recommend bylaws to the Minister of Fisheries that could impose some restrictions within the boundaries of the mätaitai reserve. Any such restrictions would apply equally to everyone fishing within the mätaitai reserve.
Customary seafood gathering for Mäori cultural purposes would be governed by authorisations issued by appointed guardians (rather than recreational regulations), as is currently the case for customary fishing around most of the South Island.
Jim Anderton said that as Minister, he was ultimately responsible for all New Zealand’s fisheries, and must carefully consider any fishing restriction recommended by the guardians and must approve them before they come into effect.
“I have carefully considered the effect the mätaitai reserve would have on commercial fishers. I recognise that the mätaitai reserve will affect some, but overall, I do not believe those effects will prevent them from taking their catch entitlements. Te Rünanga o Awarua amended the boundaries to better accommodate their fishing-related activities in the area.”
The mätaitai reserve will come into effect on the 9th October 2008.
The proposal for this mätaitai reserve was extensively consulted on with the local community, including two separate calls for written submissions, two public meetings and direct discussions with local fishers.