East Coast Tarakihi Proceedings

6 August 2020

Royal Forest and Bird Society has lodged proceedings against the Minister of Fisheries with 6 causes of action against his decisions to alter the TAC and TACC for East Coast Tarakihi in 2019. The primary claim behind each cause is that the Minister opted to include the Tarakihi Rebuild Plan in his considerations when determining the way, rate and timeframe of rebuilding the stocks. The Minister’s decision to consider the Rebuild Plan, and his endorsement of it, has since resulted in the implementation of that Plan – in place of the default harvest strategy standards.

Both Te Ohu Kaimoana and Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ) joined in support of the Minister as legal respondents to the case. As co-developers of the Tarakihi Rebuild Plan – Te Ohu Kaimoana and FINZ had many shared perspectives to provide as evidence. In order not to double up, our respective affidavits and legal submissions divided the relevant points so that FINZ provided technical and operational evidence and Te Ohu Kaimoana focused on the obligations of the Crown and importance of Treaty Partner considerations in the Minister’s determinations under the Fisheries Act.

Please click below to access the following legal documents from the proceedings:

The case was heard last week in the Wellington High Court. The Judge has not yet made a determination. We will update you on the progress of the Judge’s determination and outcome and what this may mean for fisheries management in Aotearoa. To date, the implementation and reporting of the Rebuild Plan has continued successfully. There is a stock assessment scheduled for completion early 2021 with a review of the TAC/TACC during the 2021/22 sustainability round.