Tangata Tiaki/Tangata Kaitiaki
Tangata Tiaki/Tangata Kaitiaki are individuals who authorise customary fishing within their rohe moana.
Customary fishing rights not only govern
access to fish, they determine the right to
manage fishing activity. The right belongs
to the tangata whenua – those Māori
holding traditional authority over a particular
area. The principle of manaakitanga, or
‘looking after one’s neighbours’, is a major
part of customary practice. If the Tangata
Tiaki/Tangata Kaitiaki wish to issue a
customary fishing authorisation to someone
who is not tangata whenua, they can do so.
Tangata whenua choose and nominate
people to act as guardians for particular
fishing grounds. After a submission
process, and provided any disputes have
been resolved, their appointments are
confirmed by the Minister of Fisheries.
Tangata Kaitiaki operate in the North Island
and Chatham Islands – Tangata Tiaki in
the South Island and Stewart Island. They
are the only ones allowed to authorise
customary fishing in their particular areas.
Any customary fisher must get
authorisation. They must explain why
the fish is required (eg for a hui), when
and where the fishing will take place,
which species will be taken, and who
will be fishing; the number and the size limit of each must also be given.
People fishing under a customary
authorisation must report the number
of fish they took within five days of
fishing. Accurate records of all catch and
authorisations must be kept by Tangata
Tiaki/Tangata Kaitiaki, including how many
fish were actually taken. This information
helps with local fisheries planning.
Tangata Tiaki/Tangata Kaitiaki may have a
wider involvement in fisheries management.
They can take part in such work as setting
TACs for their areas and developing
regulations to manage wider fishing activity.