Fisheries MoU signed in Chatham Islands
07 December 2009
An agreement signed on 25 November between the Ministry of Fisheries and Chatham Islands imi/iwi opens the door to more collaborative fisheries management for the region.
The Pā Tangaroa Regional Fisheries Forum acts for Moriori and Ngāti Mutunga. Forum Co-chair Shirley King (Moriori), Trudee Thomas (on behalf of Ngäti Mutunga), and Ministry of Fisheries chief executive Wayne McNee signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formally marking the start of a mutually beneficial working-relationship.
Establishing this MoU formalises the relationship the Forum and Ministry have developed over the past four years. It creates the basis for an enduring constructive relationship that will further the interests of both parties. The focus of the agreement is to ensure fisheries resources in the region are used in a manner that provides greatest overall economic, social and cultural benefit; the agreement also recognises and provides for the use and management practices of tchakat henu / tangata whenua in respect to their fisheries resources.
The concept of Regional Fisheries Forums was developed by the iwi in the Bay of Plenty together with the Ministry of Fisheries. There are now 12 such Fisheries Forums around the country.
Forums are a very positive way of addressing Treaty responsibilities that arise from the 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement and the Fisheries Act 1996, both in terms of commercial and non-commercial fisheries, says Ministry of Fisheries Chief Executive Wayne McNee.
“In line with the Ministry’s Treaty Strategy, the MoU provides a framework for realising the vision of tchakat henu / tangata whenua and the Ministry working together in partnership to provide for the utilisation of fisheries resources while ensuring sustainability.”
“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.”
“The Ministry wants to work with the Forum to develop longer-term goals and objectives for fisheries in the region. Working together, on developing fisheries plans which set out the management objectives that we all have for a fishery, is where the future of our fisheries lies,” says Mr McNee.
Shirley King, at the signing ceremony, gave credit to Ministry officials who had worked with the Forum to develop the MoU. But she gave particular credit to the imi / iwi at the Chathams Islands. Their willingness to work and come together for a common purpose that will benefit all those involved in fishing at the Chatham Islands customary, recreational and commercial was acknowledged.
The Forum has also adopted a project plan to provide a framework for the work of the Forum. The Forum has already decided to move the management of their customary fisheries under the kaimoana fishing regulations by nominating Tchakat Kitaki/Tangata Kaitiaki to issue authorisations within their management areas for customary use.
You can download a photo of the signing here>>>