4.3 External relationships
Mfish has a wide range of external relationships including other government agencies, Treaty partners, service providers and stakeholders groups. These relationships are summarised in Figure 1 and described further below.
Department of Conservation (DoC)
DoC has a statutory function to advocate for conservation of natural and historic resources. It also has responsibility for marine reserves and protecting marine mammals and seabirds. The Chief Executive of DoC is a member of the Biosecurity Chief Executives Forum.
Mfish works with DoC on operational advice concerning protected species interactions with fishing, and marine reserve proposals under the Marine Reserves Act. The views and input of DoC officials are often sought in the development of Mfish policy. DoC regional offices interact with Mfish staff at the local level on fisheries related issues. Mfish administers the conservation services cost recovery levy process. DoC and Mfish are working together on aquaculture reform and oceans policy.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalises the departments’ agreement to work together.
It is directed at ensuring cooperation in a number of areas including protected species fisheries interactions, marine reserves, biosecurity risks, research and the nature and extent of fisheries and conservation services. Despite the MOU there is still unproductive tension between the agencies on some issues. Both Chief Executives are committed to improvement, and are establishing processes to ensure the departments work in a constructive manner to achieve the overall collective interests of government.
A Marine Reserve Protocol between the Ministry and Department of Conservation was implemented on 1 August 2003. The protocol serves to integrate the distinct roles that the two agencies have in promoting and evaluating marine reserve applications by the Department or non- Government agencies. It outlines processes both departments will follow to promote open communication, integrity, and professionalism when dealing with each other. It also sets out steps that should ensure the statutory requirements of the Marine Reserves Act are met.
Ministry for the Environment (MfE)
MfE provides advice on the state of the New Zealand environment, the way environmental laws work in practice and actions necessary to improve environmental management. It administers the Resource Management Act and contributes to interdepartmental work on biological diversity and marine environmental issues.
MfE and Mfish are working together on environmental indicators for fisheries, aquaculture reform, and oceans policy, which MfE is leading. MfE also provides input on a range of fisheries policy issues.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
Mfish works closely with MFAT on international fisheries issues. Issues relate mainly to protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s fisheries interests in global fisheries agreements, regional fisheries management, foreign licensing and market access. Although MFAT is the lead government agency on most international fisheries issues, Mfish provides specialised technical support.
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) provides advice to the Government on agriculture and forestry matters, including primary production and trade.
MAF’s Biosecurity Authority has a lead role in implementing the Biosecurity Act 1993 in the terrestrial and freshwater environments for animal, plant and forestry pests and diseases affecting agriculture, horticulture, forestry and indigenous flora and fauna. MAF provides advice on these matters to Minister for Biosecurity. The MAF Biosecurity Authority conducts a number other activities, including border inspection and containment. Mfish implements the Biosecurity Act 1993 in the marine environment to deal with the risk of entry and establishment, and implement controls of undesirable marine organisms. Mfish provides advice on these matters to the Minister for Biosecurity. The Chief Executive of MAF is the Chair of the Biosecurity Chief Executives Forum.
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is a separate organisation attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It administers legislation covering food (including seafood) for sale on the domestic market, primary processing of animal products and official assurances related to their export, exports of plant products and the controls surrounding registration and use of agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines. It is the New Zealand’s controlling authority for imports and exports of food and food related products.
Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST) and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FoRST)
Mfish works with MoRST and FoRST to determine research and funding priorities in fisheries research and minimise the overlap of research between funding organisations.
New Zealand Police
Mfish has a Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand Police that provides the formal authority for operational arrangements of mutual co-operation and assistance. In addition to the primary law enforcement and policing roles, sworn members of Police are deemed to be Fishery Officers under the Fisheries Act.
Active co-operation between Mfish compliance business and NZ Police includes the provision of operational support in specific enforcement operations and training and development of personnel.
Collaboration also occurs in other areas including health and safety of personnel, development and operation of new processes, systems and technologies, sharing of specialised skills/capacity and resources, and sharing of technology and information.
New Zealand Defence Forces
The NZ Defence Forces have responsibilities for surface and aerial surveillance of the EEZ. Mfish and NZ Defence Forces share information on offshore fishing operations to ensure that surveillance efforts are directed at the areas of highest risk and that fisheries related surveillance capacity is efficiently utilised.
Mfish continues to support and participate in the implementation of the Maritime Patrol Review outcomes, including increased and improved aerial surveillance and the upgrading of the Navy fleet. Along with other agencies with interests and responsibilities in the maritime environment, Mfish contributes to the operation of the Maritime Intelligence Co-ordination Centre (MICC), established in 2001 at the Joint Defence Operations Headquarters at Trentham. A National Maritime Co-ordination Centre (NMCC) has been established, also at the Joint Defence Operations Headquarters, to co-ordinate all government maritime patrol requirements and delivery of surveillance and patrol services. Mfish is an active participant in the working group and the operation of the NMCC.
Mfish works with Treasury, Te Puni Kōkiri, Office of Treaty Settlements, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Justice, State Services Commission, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Labour, Environmental Risk Management Authority, and Customs on fisheries related issues as they arise.
Treaty Partner: relationships with tangata whenua
Mfish interacts with tangata whenua on a number of different levels. This interaction will continue to increase. Treaty settlement processes often include fisheries matters. In addition we continue to implement the customary fishing regulations and have ongoing consultation obligations in the Fisheries Act 1996. Mā are now the largest players in New Zealand’s commercial fishing industry. Tangata whenua can manage their non-commercial customary fishing activity through customary regulations. Mā are also substantial recreational fishers.
The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (Commission) manages the commercial fishing assets of Mā, on behalf of Mā. While Mfish currently interacts with the Commission in respect of commercial fisheries, that interaction will need to embrace iwi-based fishing organisations when allocation of the fisheries settlement assets takes place.
The Fisheries Act 1996 requires the Minister to provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua in sustainability decisions that affect their non-commercial interests. Mfish currently consults with over 100 iwi and hapü on matters affecting their fisheries. However, the obligation to provide for input and participation of tangata whenua requires more meaningful forms of interaction be developed and implemented. The Treaty strategy, discussed earlier, is the major Mfish initiative directed at building better working relationships with tanagata whenua, and improving the delivery of legislative obligations.
External service providers
In 1999 the Fisheries Act 1996 was amended to enable more flexible delivery of fisheries management services. In October 2001, the Fisheries Act 1996 was fully commenced, bringing in major changes to the nature of some services and the method by which they are delivered. Many registry-based services are now devolved to SeaFIC as an approved service delivery organisation (ASDO) or provided under contract through SeaFIC. The Minister sets standards and specifications for devolved services, while the Chief Executive sets standards and specifications for contracted services.
Once functions, duties and powers are transferred to an ASDO the specific related services become the sole responsibility of the ASDO to deliver. Failure to comply with the statute and standards and specifications can lead to civil sanctions imposed on the ASDO.
Functions, duties and powers that remain the responsibility of the Chief Executive can be delivered by Mfish or by a service delivery agency under a contract. In respect of fisheries research services, a fully contestable contracting process was introduced from 1 July 1997.
The two principal external service providers are FishServe and NIWA. Mfish also has contracts with other providers for research services.
SeaFIC was appointed the ASDO for delivery of registry-based services and statutory functions were transferred to it on 1 October 2001. Since then, Commercial Fisheries Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaFIC, assumed responsibility for delivery of registry services and Mfish ceased to be involved directly in the delivery of services. Commercial Fisheries Services operates under the brand name ‘FishServe’.
Functions, duties and powers devolved to FishServe include:
registering clients and vessels;
licensing fish receivers;
issuing catch return books (excluding catch effort returns), returns management processes including electronic data transfer for statutory reporting (excluding catch effort);
processing quota and ACE transactions, including mortgages and caveats;
In addition to its devolved services, FishServe provides services under contract to Mfish as a service delivery agency. Functions, duties and powers contracted to FishServe include:
delivery of catch effort services, including issuing return books and the returns management process;
issuing fishing permits;
registering foreign owned vessels, charter vessels, and fish carriers; ! monitoring catch limits; and
delivery of revenue services, including invoicing, receiving and debt management of cost recovery and deemed values.
Research projects are let through a contestable tendering process where tenders are evaluated through an earned value basis, combining aspects of both quality and cost. Most contracts for fisheries research, in what is still a relatively ‘thin’ market, have been awarded to the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA).
Aside from its research activities, NIWA also maintains, on behalf of Mfish, the research databases and other research information.
Before taking a range of statutory decisions under the Fisheries Act 1996, the Minister must consult with stakeholders, including Mā, the commercial fisheries sector, recreational fisheries interests, and environmental groups.
Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture Sector
A number of organisations represent the fishing industry in New Zealand. There are also a number of companies or incorporated bodies that represent commercial interests of a particular fishery or a range of fisheries.
New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC)
The NZ Seafood Industry Council is a company whose shares are principally held by commercial stakeholder organisations. The shareholders elect a Board responsible for managing the business affairs of the Company. The Board is responsive to advice from the Policy Council, a forum open to participants in the commercial seafood industry. In 1997 SeaFIC took over the majority of the activities mandated by the Fishing Industry Board Act 1963. Its primary role is the promotion and development of the New Zealand seafood industry.
Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (Commission)
The Commission was established as part of the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992. It holds in trust assets provided by the Crown prior to and after the Settlement. Its main task is the development of a method to allocate the trust’s assets to iwi. Its functions are to:
facilitate the entry of Mā into, and development by Mā of, the business and activity of fishing
grant assistance to enable Mā or groups of Mā to enter into, continue in or develop the business and activity of fishing.
New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen
This organisation represents small owner operators in the fishing industry.
New Zealand Fishing Industry Guild
This organisation represents the interest of those who work on fishing boats and in processing sheds.
New Zealand Aquaculture Council
Formed by its constituent groups, this organisation represents the aquaculture industry on national issues affecting all sectors of aquaculture, as well as the NZ Abalone Farmers Association, New Zealand Oyster Farmers Association and the Central Eel Enhancement Company.
Mfish interacts with a number of environmental groups with strong interests in the sustainability of fisheries and the effect of fishing on the environment.
! Environmental and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand (ECO) ECO represents 70 member organisations with a concern for conservation and the environment, and is involved in a number of Mfish processes, including the determination of fisheries services, research planning, and sustainability advice. A major interest for this group is in the provision for non-extractive use of our fisheries.
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society
This organisation represents 40,000 members in 56 branches around the country and has been an advocate for conservation and protection of New Zealand’s natural resources since 1923. It is interested in marine reserves and issues relating to the protection of New Zealand’s marine ecosystem.
This is an international organisation with over 31,000 supporters in New Zealand. Its primary interest is the adverse effect of fishing on protected species.
World Wide Fund for Nature
This is a science-based international conservation organisation. An independent science advisory committee oversees its research and policy programmes.
Recreational Fishing Sector
Most marine recreational fishers do not belong to recreational fishing organisations. However, the following groups represent or advocate for segments of the sector.
New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council Inc (NZRFC)
This is an umbrella group representing the Big Game Fishing Council and the NZ Underwater Association as well other national associations, regional associations and clubs throughout New Zealand.
This is an issues-based group that arose in response to an earlier Ministry attempt at reform (Soundings). It does not claim to represent amateur fishers, but has actively participated in the current reform process.