Taking up the customary fishing regulations
The Ministry of Fisheries has Customary Relationship
and Extension Service Teams (Pou Hononga and Pou
These teams work with iwi and hapū to make them aware of the
customary fishing regulations, and to get them more involved in
fisheries management in their areas.
The first step for iwi and hapū is to work out who has tangata
whenua status over a particular area/rohe moana.
The Ministry provides information about customary fishing
management options and helps iwi and hapū to develop
applications for the options they are interested in following.
However, the Ministry does not advocate for the use of particular
options or encourage the order in which they might be used. It is
up to iwi and hapū to make such decisions.
The customary fishing regulations have been adopted across
much of the South Island’s waters. Ngāi Tahu was one of the
first iwi to see the opportunities they presented and quickly took
advantage of them. All but one runanga is operating within
defined areas, with 110 guardians acting for 17 runanga.
Ngāi Tahu has identified a number of areas for protection by
customary management tools. A customary fisheries protection
areas project has been developed to help establish a co-ordinated
network of customary fishing areas throughout their rohe moana.
In North Island waters, some 37 iwi and hapū entities have been
officially recognised as having tangata whenua status over defined
rohe moana. There are currently 229 guardians operating in these
Alan Riwaka – winner, Customary section, MFish photography competition 2008.