At the special general meeting in June, iwi endorsed the plan put forward by Te Ohu to address the recommendations made in the 11-year review. We are developing a detailed work plan to implement the resolutions and will distribute this to iwi in the near future.
To help us with this work we recently surveyed iwi and others working in the fishing industry and we wish to share these results with you.
Our survey elicited 60 responses from people working in a variety of fisheries roles with iwi, including Asset Holding Companies, Mandated Iwi Organisations and customary fisheries. Almost half of respondents (47 percent) were directly employed by a MIO, with 46 percent either directors or trustees of a MIO or AHC. Thirty-two percent of respondents were employed as a manager or chief executive in an iwi-owned business and 15 percent of respondents identified themselves as being staff members of a MIO, AHC or other fishing related business.
Of those who responded, 93 percent identified their organisation as employing one or more people to work on Māori fisheries matters, while exactly half of those said their organisation employed three or more people on fisheries.
The survey found that organisations spend varying times on average each week working on Māori fisheries, with more than one third of respondents employing one or more full-time staff members to work in the sector. Half said their organisation spent between 1 and 10 hours per week on fisheries and/or aquaculture matters.
The Māori fisheries issues that respondents most focussed on were the selling of Annual Catch Entitlements and participating in iwi fisheries forums – 83 percent identified these as major work items for their organisation. More than 60 percent of respondents also identified customary fisheries management, commercial joint ventures, aquaculture and freshwater fisheries as important work areas.
We asked people to identify their organisation’s strategic priorities from a list that included health services, education, housing, economic development, cultural revitalisation, natural resources, as well as fishing and aquaculture. While most of the areas were important, fishing and aquaculture were seen as either very important or most important. In respect of fishing, a quarter of respondents said it was an important priority, 19 percent said it was very important with more than 40 percent saying it was most important.
In respect of economic assets owned by the respondents’ organisations, commercial fisheries assets were considered the most important, with almost 85 percent identifying them as such. This was followed by investments (68 percent) and land / property (59 percent).
The survey results, which can be downloaded from the link below, demonstrated that respondents have a good opinion about the work undertaken by Te Ohu Kaimoana. In terms assisting iwi to reach agreement on allocation of fisheries and aquaculture settlement assets, more than two thirds rated Te Ohu as performing very well or excellent; providing advice to iwi also scored highly with 60 percent saying Te Ohu performed very well or excellently.
Of all the work areas that respondents were asked to rate, Te Ohu overall performed well, very well or excellently. Some areas of improvement were identified, including facilitating iwi into joint ventures on fishing and aquaculture and assisting iwi, hapu and kaitiaki with customary fisheries.
Just over half of the respondents put forward comments about the role of Te Ohu in the future, including: policy and advocacy, training for day-to-day management of fisheries assets (including fisheries transactions, building skills in science and fisheries management and working with industry), facilitating collective development of new fisheries, providing information about the market, supporting iwi in policy and law reform and more emphasis on customary fisheries.
The results have provided a lot of information for Te Ohu to take into account when we finalise our work plan, which will reflect the decisions made by iwi at the Special General Meeting and the views expressed in the survey.
Te Ohu will organise meetings to discuss the work plan, which will be sent to iwi shortly as a discussion document, before finalising it later in the year.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER OF OUR AIR NEW ZEALAND MYSTERY WEEKEND: Tame Te Rangi
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released details of its operational review of the Fisheries Act 1996. The review, which was announced last year by the Minister, Hon Nathan Guy, was aimed at improving the framework under which New Zealand’s fisheries are managed.