Strategic Direction 2005/08
Since 2003, the Ministry of Fisheries has focused on an overall fishery outcome:
“The value New Zealanders obtain from the sustainable use of fisheries resources and protection of the aquatic environment is maximised.”
OVERALL FISHERY OUTCOME
Value to New Zealanders means:
- the value to present and future generations of preserving the structure, function and biodiversity of our aquatic environment
- the value to Maori of sustainable aquatic resources and a healthy aquatic environment
- the value gained from the pleasure of fishing for recreation
- the value of a thriving seafood industry
- the value gained from viewing fisheries in a healthy aquatic environment
- the value of flourishing communities with a strong fisheries sector at their heart.
The overall fishery outcome is consistent with the purpose of the Fisheries Act 1996 and contributes to the achievement of a number of broader government goals and strategies.
The Ministry does not have responsibility for all the contributions required to achieve the fishery outcome and must rely on contributions from others – government agencies, iwi and hapu, stakeholders and the public. However, all Ministry activities should be directed towards achieving this single outcome.
In its 2003/08 Strategic Plan, the Ministry identified three strategies by which it would achieve the overall fishery outcome. These strategies are, in effect, outcomes that contribute to the achievement of the fishery outcome. Until further work is done to develop new contributing outcomes, these three strategies, plus a new contributing outcome, Credible Fisheries Management, will be used as contributing outcomes.
The contributing outcomes are:
- The health of the aquatic environment is protected
- People are able to realise the best value from the sustainable and efficient use of fisheries
- Crown obligations to Maori with respect to fisheries are delivered
- Credible fisheries management.
Health of the Aquatic Environment Protected
Protecting the health of the aquatic environment means that government, in consultation with stakeholders, should determine the limits of acceptable human-induced change, and ensure these limits are not exceeded.
The government has an obligation to ensure use of fisheries resources does not compromise the sustainability of those resources or the wider aquatic environment. Most uses of fisheries resources – and other uses of the aquatic environment – affect the aquatic environment in some way. Some of those effects pose no significant risk because they are minor in intensity or scale, or because the effect occurs only for a short period. But other effects pose greater risk because they are high in intensity, broad in scale, last for a long period, or occur in a particularly sensitive environment.
Best Value Able to be Realised
Within limits set to ensure sustainability, it is desirable that fisheries resources are utilised by those who obtain the most value from them. Where market-based valuations of marine resources are incomplete or do not exist, there is a need to establish more structured processes for describing the attributes that define these values, as an input to allocation decisions.
Where practical, market mechanisms will be used to allocate access to fisheries resources. Under the QMS, commercial rights to harvest fish can be traded and it is assumed that those who value commercial fishing rights most will be able to buy them. The government’s role in allocating fisheries resources within the commercial sector is now minimal. However, there is currently no mechanism for stakeholders to adjust levels of access to fisheries resources between sectors or between individuals within non-commercial fisheries sectors. In the absence of such mechanisms, the government is required to determine allocations. Over the longer term we should be working toward enabling tangata whenua and stakeholder representatives to reach agreements on the best way to manage shared fisheries to meet their respective interests.
Over the medium term, the Ministry’s primary role in allocation is to help tangata whenua and stakeholders work together to identify how they want to maximise value from a fishery – including through allocations between sectors. Where consensus cannot be achieved, the Ministry’s role is to convey tangata whenua and stakeholder views to the decision-maker, and provide advice on the implications of different options.
The Ministry also contributes to maximising value by ensuring management of fisheries (including use of management measures and provision of services) is linked to clear objectives.
One means by which it will do this is to prioritise management measures and services in a transparent manner, based on an assessment of risks and opportunities.
The Ministry will facilitate and encourage initiatives to increase the value that customary, recreational and commercial fishers obtain from the fishery. These include tangata whenua-led and stakeholder-led approaches to add value to fisheries, and government-led approaches to ensure fair allocation of resources.
The Ministry recognises that fisheries are valued for nonextractive as well as extractive uses. Under the current legislative framework, certain non-extractive uses (such as existence values) can be met through sustainability requirements.
However, non-extractive uses such as fish-viewing, which may require restrictions on fishing in a particular area, cannot be provided for directly. To maximise the value of fisheries resources we need to explore options to provide for non-extractive uses in a manner that fairly addresses both the needs of non-extractive users and the interests of existing extractive users.
Obligations to Maori Delivered
The Ministry recognises the status of Maori as tangata whenua.
The 1992 Deed of Settlement addressed Maori fishing claims under the Treaty of Waitangi. Under the Deed of Settlement the Crown has specific ongoing obligations to provide for input and participation, provide for customary non-commercial fishing, and allocate to Maori 20% of the quota of all new species entering the QMS. The Ministry will deliver on its obligations to Maori with respect to fishing by implementing its Deed of Settlement obligations, as set out in the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 and the Fisheries Act 1996. The Ministry will work to establish and maintain effective relationships with tangata whenua.
Under recent aquaculture legislation, the Crown has a responsibility to implement the aquaculture settlement.
This requires that iwi are provided with marine farming space equivalent to 20% of existing marine farming space approved since September 1992 and 20% of all new space identified in Aquaculture Management Areas.
The Crown also has fisheries-related obligations arising from settlements with individual iwi.
Credible Fisheries Management
Credibility of management frameworks and the Ministry responsible for operating them is important for effective management of fisheries, and particularly for encouraging voluntary compliance with fisheries rules. Credibility of fisheries management also contributes to respect for laws in general and other management institutions. A range of factors contribute to the credibility of fisheries management.
Tangata whenua and stakeholders need to know that the information on which decisions are made is robust, that decision-making processes are effective and fair, and that decisions are properly implemented. Critical information includes research on the status of fish stocks and impacts on the aquatic environment, ownership of quota shares and ACE, and the amount of each fish stock harvested by each fisher and in total. Critical decision-making processes include TAC and TACC setting, determining other fisheries management controls, and setting cost recovery charges. Effective compliance - using appropriate incentives for voluntary compliance and strong deterrence - is critical to ensure effective implementation of fisheries policies.
Another important contributor to credibility is effective engagement with tangata whenua, stakeholders, other government organisations, and the public in management of fisheries. Constructive engagement will require the Ministry to focus on relationship management, communication, and building tangata whenua and stakeholder capacity to participate effectively in management processes. The Ministry will engage with different fisheries sectors separately and together. Engaging separately with each sector will enable Ministry staff and sector group representatives to discuss issues of concern and options for constructive resolution. Engagement with different sectors in multi-sector forums will focus on the development of standards and, in particular, management plans.
To achieve the contributing outcomes and overall fishery outcome the Ministry provides a range of outputs, grouped in five departmental output expenses (previously called output classes). These differ slightly from those used in the previous Statement of Intent, as shown in the following table.
|Statement of Intent 2005/06
||Statement of Intent 2004/05|
- Fisheries policy
- Fisheries information
- Fisheries operations
- Fisheries compliance
- Aquaculture settlement
- Policy framework
- Fisheries information and
- Regulatory management
Fisheries access and
- Enforcement of fisheries policies
- Prosecution of offences
- Not applicable
The first four contribute to achieving all four contributing outcomes.
Policy analysis is required to help ensure existing management frameworks operate appropriately and, where necessary, to develop new frameworks. The primary contribution to existing frameworks is through monitoring to ensure they are performing as intended. Where existing frameworks prove inadequate, or have not been developed, analysis is required to determine the most appropriate future frameworks.
Information is vital to maintaining the integrity of all management frameworks. Appropriate information on the state of fish stocks and the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment is required to ensure sustainability. Information is also required to ensure the level of access granted to particular groups and individuals is appropriate, and that their use of fisheries resources is within the access granted.
Management of fisheries is complex and can have major effects on fish stocks, the aquatic environment and users’ access to fisheries resources. It can also be expensive. In order to ensure cost-effective management, processes and systems must be well designed and well operated.
Fisheries are a scarce resource and, well managed, can be valuable. The temptation to exceed fisheries access rights is often strong, and effective deterrents are required. Therefore, effective enforcement is important, along with education and other contributors to voluntary compliance. The widespread and isolated nature of much fishing activity means that rates of detection of fisheries offences are typically low. Consequently, high penalties are required to ensure overall compliance objectives are achieved.
Aquaculture settlement contributes primarily to meeting Crown obligations to Maori. This output expense relates to acquiring aquaculture leases for transfer to Maori, as required in the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004.
Details of the Ministry’s proposed outputs for 2005/06 are set out in the output plan later in this document.
ROLE OF MINISTRY AND STAKEHOLDERS
The role of the Ministry, working with other government agencies, is advising on and implementing government policy in the following areas of core responsibility:
- ensuring sustainability of fish stocks and protection of the aquatic environment
- meeting international and Deed of Settlement obligations
- providing for maximum value to be realised
- facilitating sustainable development
- ensuring integrity of management systems.
The role of tangata whenua is to:
- participate in government decision-making processes, including policy frameworks, management plans, and the nature and extent of fisheries services, and to have input to and participation in Ministry sustainability processes.
The role of fisheries stakeholders and the public is to:
- participate in government decision-making processes, including policy frameworks, management plans, and the nature and extent of fisheries services.
The role of tangata whenua, fisheries stakeholders and the public is to:
- comply with fisheries rules
- use fisheries resources in a way that promotes sustainability.
When delivering outputs the Ministry takes into account a number of premises, or working assumptions, which guide the way the Ministry operates. These premises include the following.
- Ministry systems and processes should meet public sector best practice standards and our people should act in a manner consistent with the Public Service Code of Conduct.
- ‘Value’ has a broad meaning – including the value obtained from the full range of legitimate uses of fisheries.
- Tangata whenua and stakeholder groups are best able to identify the type of fisheries use that maximises value to them; the government sets limits within which such use must occur.
- Better solutions producing greater value are generally obtained by working collaboratively. This means government needs to work with stakeholders, and stakeholders need to work collaboratively with each other, in order to reach the best possible solutions.
- It is a worthy investment of time and energy to discuss and try to reach consensus on what stakeholders want to achieve from a fishery, before determining how the fishery should be managed.
The benefits of fisheries management frameworks and the Ministry’s performance in implementing them can be demonstrated by means of performance indicators and measures. Indicators provide a general idea of the extent of achievement of the contributing outcomes and the overall fishery outcome. Performance measures track the contribution of management frameworks and Ministry interventions toward achieving the outcomes. Establishing systems to monitor and report on performance against outcomes more effectively is one of the priorities identified by the Ministry for the next three years. This priority is discussed later in the document along with examples of possible performance indicators.