THE MINISTRY IN TRANSITION
2004/05 has been a year of transition as we ready the organisation to implement our strategic direction and meet the challenges of providing an expanded range of services. We have made changes to embark on a new stage of our journey towards sustainable fisheries management. At the same time, the year has seen five major pieces of fisheries legislation enacted – a significant milestone that will enable the Ministry and the sector to move on to a new collaborative approach in ensuring the sustainable use of fisheries resources while protecting the aquatic environment.
OUR ROLE IS CHANGING
There are two things driving changes in our role. First, the Ministry is simply being required to provide more services. The need for an expanded Compliance effort, for example, requires more frontline officers. Implementing our obligations in the Deed of Settlement requires additional resources. We also have wider international obligations as we seek to influence sustainable fisheries management practices outside New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.
The second driving force behind our changing role is a shift in our strategic direction. The directions detailed in our Statement of Intent for 2005-2008 finalised and published this year will see some important changes in what we do and how we do it. We will take a stronger, more proactive leadership role in managing fisheries. In practical terms, this means the Ministry will develop fisheries plans for the management of fish stocks, develop the policy and standards framework needed to do this, and set environmental standards and ‘bottom lines’. Our science and enforcement services will play an important part in the process.
We will continue to take a leadership role in Government initiatives such as the Growth and Innovation Framework and developing an oceans policy that will enable the management of all uses of, and impacts on, the marine environment in a more integrated manner.
We will also continue to take a leadership role in international fisheries management. An example this year is our role in initiating, with Australia and Chile, the establishment of a regional fisheries management organisation to conserve and manage non-highly migratory fish species (other than tunas) and protection of biodiversity in high seas parts of the South Pacific.
Our Style is Changing
Just as we are pursuing our leadership role with renewed vigour, we are also increasing our efforts to put in place new and more effective ways for stakeholders to participate in fisheries management. The Ministry is a relatively small organisation and needs the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to achieve the outcome of maximising the value New Zealanders gain from our fisheries. This means finding ways for all points of view to be heard in decision-making processes.
The Ministry will actively pursue greater engagement with all sectors, including commercial, customary and recreational fishers and environmental NGOs. To do this effectively, we need to facilitate an exchange of ideas and information. We do this with the commercial sector through industry organisations, such as the Seafood Industry Council, and other structures such as research planning working groups. Customary and recreational fishers, however, have not traditionally had the infrastructure they need to play a greater role in actively managing the fishery. We have taken first steps to address this. During the year, we appointed Pou Hononga and introduced regional forums both for customary and recreational fishers. In addition, a Recreational Advisory Group has been established to advise the Minister. These initiatives are discussed in more detail in the next section.
WE ARE BEGINNING A NEW STAGE IN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
The enactment of five pieces of ‘milestone’ legislation this year was a significant achievement representing years of activity and design by the Ministry and other agencies.
The Maori Fisheries Act 2004 established the statutory process or valuable quota held by Te Ohu Kai Moana to be allocated to iwi. In addition, the M–aori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 will lead to the transfer of 20% of all aquaculture space created since 1992 to Maori.
The enactment of the new aquaculture reform legislation at the end of 2004 will provide a secure platform for aquaculture development, reduce the costs and frustrations of the previous regime, and will be of significant benefit in terms of creating value for the aquaculture industry, including Maori. The Ministry provided considerable input into the reforms that were led by the Ministry for the Environment.
Parliament’s decision to introduce scampi into the quota management system (QMS) was also significant. It was the last act in the management of this fishery to be finally resolved after 15 years of contentious debate. Lastly, the Fisheries Amendment Bill (No. 3) reformed certain aspects of the Fisheries Act 1996 to improve the management of fish stocks. All these pieces of legislation are discussed in greater detail in the following section of this report.
Focus on Acheiving Outcomes p3
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[16 November 2007]Focus on Acheiving Outcomes
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[16 November 2007]Maintaining Existing Management Systems Page 2
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[16 November 2007]Integration and Accountability page 2More...
[16 November 2007]Integration and Accountability
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[16 November 2007]Leadership and Cooperation
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[16 November 2007]The Ministry in Transition p2
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[16 November 2007]