The Fisheries Policy group provides advice to Government about the development of New Zealand’s fisheries management regime. The group’s work leads to change in the legal or operational frameworks applied to New Zealand fisheries and aquatic resources. These reforms aim to allow all New Zealand fishers—commercial, customary, and recreational—to use and enjoy our fisheries, while ensuring that our aquatic environment is conserved and our fisheries will be available for future generations.
The Policy group works closely with other groups in the Ministry, staff from other government agencies, tangata whenua, and other stakeholders to provide effective and timely advice to Government. While most of our work focuses on long-term issues, we also have the capacity to react quickly to provide support for the Minister of Fisheries and Government on immediate issues. This work often involves examining new policy initiatives or issues that emerge to ensure that they align with the Government’s goals for fisheries management and legislative, settlement, and international obligations.
The policy work programme can be grouped into four broad areas:
This area includes contributing to the Government's priorities for economic development, enabling stakeholders to take responsible initiatives to add value, reform to improve integration with natural resource sector legislation, improve incentives to invest in cooperative approaches to manage fisheries, and reform to reduce costs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the fisheries management and aquaculture regimes.
This area relates to reforms to improve the environmental performance of the fisheries sector, such as managing the impact of fishing on the environment and at-risk species, and the interactions of other activities with fisheries resources and habitats.
Under this area, the Ministry will be developing a vision and strategy for the future, revising fisheries outcomes and developing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation framework for accountability.
This area includes reviewing delivery of Deed of Settlement obligations by the Ministry, and contributing to the settlement of the Crown's obligations to Maori in relation to historical Treaty claims and the foreshore and seabed.