The Minister for Primary Industries recently announced the Government’s intention to undertake an operational review of the Fisheries Act. The review is to determine whether the Fisheries Act is working as fairly and efficiently as it can.
The Minister, Hon Nathan Guy, said: “The fundamentals of our system are sound, and overall New Zealand's fish stocks are in good shape, so we won't be looking to make changes to core elements of the quota management system. Similarly, the existing rights and interests of recreational, customary and commercial fishers, as well as Treaty settlements, are not in scope.” The Minister said the long-term aim of the Review is to make changes that will deliver greater value to all sectors (commercial, recreational and customary) while enhancing sustainability.
There are several stages to the review with the Ministry for Primary industries consulting on the scope and range of measures to be addressed in the Review prior to Christmas 2015. Te Ohu Kaimoana’s view is that this Review will present opportunities but could also pose threats to the Māori Fisheries Settlement. The review could result in significant changes that will have an effect on iwi.
Te Ohu Kaimoana will host a workshop with iwi/ AHC representatives, as well as Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, in November to discuss a combined input into the review from a Settlement perspective. We will advise the date of that workshop before the end of October. Te Ohu Kaimoana intends to invite MPI officials to address part of that meeting to provide an update on the review process. Anyone wishing to participate in that workshop can signal their interest by emailing Laws Lawson.