Supreme Court shows way forward for kahawai
28 May 2009
“The Supreme Court’s ruling out today on the management of the kahawai fishery is an important decision that will be carefully considered by all the parties involved,” says Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that setting catch limits and the allocation of catch between the three fishing sectors – commercial, recreational and customary Maori – is ultimately the responsibility of the Minister of Fisheries.
“I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgment; it provides valuable guidance on how kahawai and our other shared inshore fisheries can be managed. This judgment brings an end to the legal process and I want to work constructively on how we manage this fishery into the future,” Mr Heatley said.
The kahawai case has been a long and complex legal process which started in 2004 with an application to the High Court for judicial review after both commercial and recreational fishers were unhappy with catch limit decisions made by a previous Minister of Fisheries.
Catch limits and the allocation of catch between the three fishing sectors in the kahawai fishery will be reviewed and any changes would be implemented on 1 October 2010.
“There is simply not enough time left to properly review kahawai catch limits before the start of the next fishing year on 1 October 2009,” Mr Heatley said.
“I am committed to reviewing kahawai catch limits and allowances as soon as practicable, however given the history and importance of this fishery I want the review to be done properly and I am not prepared to act in haste.”
The Supreme Court’s judgment can be downloaded at this link http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/from/decisions/judgments.html