The Board of Te Ohu Kaimoana invite Mandated and Recognised Iwi Organisations, and their Asset Holding Companies under the Māori Fisheries Act 2004 to an important online hui, to be held this Wednesday 29 May 2024 at 4:00pm regarding developments in the Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill (the Bill). We apologise for the short notice.

Late last week Te Ohu Kaimoana was made aware of decisions by the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries (pertaining to the Bill) that directly impact upon iwi.

These matters are:

  1. Voting rights of Representative Maori Organisations (RMOs) in the appointment of Te Ohu Kaimoana Directors; and
  2. Potential tax implications of the Aotearoa Fisheries Limited share transfer for iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Te Ohu Kaimoana is mindful of the potential for the Bill to enter its third reading in the House in the very near future, and we wish to understand whether iwi still support the progression of the Bill, given the Minister’s decisions on these two particular proposals/resolutions.

For a calendar invite and link to the hui – please contact us at: (please note this hui is for Mandated and Recognised Iwi Organisations, and their Asset Holding Companies under the Māori Fisheries Act 2004).

We also have an important update below regarding the valuation of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited shares held by Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Progression of the Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill

To give effect to the resolutions of iwi in response to the 2015 review of Māori fisheries settlement entities, Te Ohu Kaimoana has promoted amendments to the Maori Fisheries Act 2004 through the Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill (the Bill).

Over the past 15 months, the Bill has been in Parliamentary process going through First Reading, Select Committee, Second Reading, and Committee of the Whole House. The Bill is now nearing the final stages of Parliamentary approval process.

This table outlines all original resolutions and proposals made by iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana in regard to the Bill, and their status of those in the current drafting of the Bill.

At the Hui-ā-Tau (AGM) of Te Ohu Kaimoana in March 2024, we noted to iwi that there are two primary issues that we considered needed further amendment.

Voting rights of Representative Māori Organisations (RMOs)

The position of iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana has been one of opposition to RMOs being afforded the same status and voting rights as Mandated (MIO) and Recognised (RIO) Iwi Organisations in regard to the appointment and removal of Te Ohu Kaimoana directors. We maintain this position because it reflects the unanimous decision made by iwi and passed at a general meeting in 2016.

We understand that same position has recently been reaffirmed through a consultation process with iwi by the Ministry for Primary Industries on behalf of the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries. We understand that iwi organisations unanimously communicated that same position.

On Wednesday 22 May, Minister Jones informed the House that he has decided that RMOs will retain these voting rights, as consistent with the advice received from the Māori Affairs Select Committee. Minister Jones cites there being no consensus amongst parties as a reason for his decision, and also reflected on this matter as having its roots in a more historic debate between “traditional iwi and more modern aggregations of Māori society” which led to disharmony in the past.

The Board of Te Ohu Kaimoana thanks those iwi who took the time to attend the webinars, phone calls, and hui hosted by MPI. We have also had similar discussions with iwi and understand that there was a clear position communicated to the Minister – that position was to give effect to the unanimous decisions passed by Māori.

The Minister has indicated he would support this issue being considered in the next statutory review of the Māori Fisheries Act, due seven to ten years from the passing of this Bill. This would also allow full consideration of the issues raised by all parties about the role of RMOs in Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

We are disappointed with the Minister’s decision on this point, and the disregard for iwi decision-making.

Tax implications

In May 2023, Te Ohu Kaimoana spoke to the Māori Affairs Select Committee regarding this Bill. Amongst a variety of issues, potential tax implications has been one of our key concerns and this was raised to the Committee, and in subsequent correspondence with officials and the Minister.

The Bill will require Te Ohu Kaimoana to allocate and transfer its shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd (AFL) to MIOs, in furtherance of the initial Treaty settlement made under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004. Te Ohu Kaimoana (as a charitable entity) wants to ensure that all MIOs can receive the ordinary shares in AFL (which are settlement assets), without any imposition of tax. For completeness, MIOs with charitable status will be able to receive the ordinary shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Limited with no tax implications. However, we are concerned about tax implications of transferring the shares to non-charitable entities (MIOs).

We promoted to the Minister that those MIOs who do not have charitable status should be provided with a tax exemption when receiving such shares. We also sought a further exemption that would allow an iwi to transfer those assets to another entity, such as its PSGE or Asset Holding Company without tax implications.

The Minister has recently confirmed that the tax exemption changes we have been promoting will not be adopted. Instead, it was of his view that in keeping with the general tax policy approach, the Bill provides that the initial transfer of the shares from Te Ohu Kaimoana to MIOs should not be subject to tax. Following the initial share transfer from Te Ohu Kaimoana, general tax rules will apply to any transfers that MIOs may decide to make in the future regarding how they arrange their affairs.

If you have any pātai regarding the matters above, please contact our Poumatua Whakamahere Ture | General Counsel, Brianna Boxall via email:

Aotearoa Fisheries Limited shares and valuation

In anticipation of the passage of the Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill, Te Ohu Kaimoana, with the support of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (AFL) (trading as Moana New Zealand), is in the process of engaging an independent professional services advisor to value Te Ohu Kaimoana’s shares in AFL.

These AFL income shares (of which there are 100,000 totalling 20% of AFL income shares) are held in trust by Te Ohu Kaimoana  for Mandated Iwi Organisations (MIOs).

After the transfer of AFL shares to MIOs is approved as part of the Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill, the transfer would occur within the next two years.

The valuation of the AFL shares is required to enable the transfer of the shares. A valuation would also be required to inform the preparation of annual financial statements, and the new financial instruments reporting requirements of PBEIPSAS 41.

Upcoming valuation work

The previous valuation conducted by Te Ohu Kaimoana reflects the book value of assets in 2004. Due to the amount of time that has passed since the last valuation, there is potential for a change, (up or down) in the valuation for shares to be transferred.

Te Ohu Kaimoana will share the results of this valuation work with iwi upon its completion, and we estimate that the work will be completed by the end of December 2024.

We are cognisant that iwi organisations already have a range of valuations for their AFL shares and that each MIO will consider the most appropriate process to account for the value of the transferred assets. This could include applying the Te Ohu Kaimoana valuation to existing assets or adopting their existing share value. We are encouraging MIO to now consider the approach that best fits their circumstances.

We encourage you to please share this pānui with your finance team.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact our Poumatua Rātonga Rangapū | Corporate Services Manager, Michelle Ewington on 027 3584266 or via email at: