New Space Regional Aquaculture Agreements

Critical processes are underway for iwi aquaculture organisations (IAOs) and the Crown. Under the current settings New Space Regional Aquaculture Agreements (NSRAA) for priority regions are meant to be completed in the next five weeks. This timeframe won’t be achieved because preparatory work is not yet completed. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is consulting with IAOs before it seeks an extension to the legislative deadline.

NSRAAs will settle the Crown’s new space obligations under the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act. These agreements are to be based on the estimated amount, and value, of aquaculture that is predicted to occur in those regions for a defined period in the future, for example, the next 20 years.

While the timing of these regional agreements is prescriptive and set down in the Act, the Crown failed to meet a September 2013 deadline for reaching agreements in the priority aquaculture regions of Northland, Waikato (East), Tasman and Marlborough. MPI was granted an extension to the end of June this year, and it is almost certain that a further extension will be sought through to sometime in 2015.

In February this year, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) circulated a draft plan to IAOs. The closing date for submissions on that draft plan is 30 May 2014. The Minister must produce a plan that:

  • Provides an assessment the Crown’s progress in complying with Section 9 of the Act, which prescribes the Crown’s obligations in respect of new aquaculture space,
  • Provides how the Crown will comply if it has not satisfied Section 9, and
  • Establishes processes and methods for determining the value of the settlement assets to be delivered under Section 9.

Te Ohu is currently drafting a comprehensive response to the plan and will provide that to IAOs for consideration.

Several elements of work need to be brought together before an NSRAA can be signed by IAOs and the Crown.  Te Ohu is working with the National Iwi Steering Group and MPI to advance that.  This work includes the development of national and regional aquaculture forecasts, valuation methodology and associated models, and the completion of review mechanisms for inclusion in agreements.

Te Ohu is working to ensure that IAOs of each region are ready to negotiate as soon as the Crown is able to do so.  To assist iwi with preparing for negotiations Te Ohu will:

  • Provide IAOs within Northland, Waikato East, Te Tau Ihu, Auckland and Canterbury with a draft paper that will assist each IAO board to understand the NSRAA in its region, what decisions and mandates will be required and how Te Ohu will work with IAOs within regions to complete their NSRAA with the Crown.
  • Organise and facilitate engagement with regional IAOs that are due to have their regional agreements completed this year.  Te Ohu and the Technical Working Group are working with IAOs to formulate potential options to be included in any NRSAA.

The work around aquaculture development under the Act is complicated. Please contact Beth Tupara-Katene on email or at Te Ohu or your regional iwi representatives on the National Iwi Steering Group (see below) if you require further information.

For more general information about the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 and details associated with the pre-commencement space and new space obligations, please refer to the Takutai Trust website.

Dates for settling New Space Regional Aquaculture Agreements

Priority regions by 30 June 2014

Northland, Waikato (East Coast), Tasman, Marlborough

By 30 September 2014

Auckland, Waikato (West Coast), Canterbury

During 2015

Chatham Islands (May 2015) Southland (March 2015)

2 years after the first new resource
application for aquaculture activities

All other regions
(based on regional council boundaries)

National Iwi Steering Group Members


Keir Volkerling

Waikato East

Harry Mikaere, Nicholas Manukau

Bay of Plenty

Dickie Farrar, Puhirake Ihaka

Te Tau Ihu

Richard Paine, John Morgan, Fred Te Miha


Merv Whipp