Who We Are

Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Māori Fisheries Trust) is the representative organisation that works to protect Iwi and Māori customary and commercial interests in fisheries and the marine environment.

Our organisation, which gives effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori rights contained within it, was created ultimately out of the Māori Fisheries Settlement 1992 between Māori and the Crown. Te Ohu Kaimoana is the successor to the Māori Fisheries Commission (1989 – 1992) and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (1992 – 2004).

Te Ohu Kaimoana provides advice to and is guided by the 58 mandated iwi organisations that represent all Māori in Aotearoa.

While our focus is on fishing and fisheries-related activities, our kaupapa extends to scientific and environmental policy matters and political issues that affect iwi and Māori rights in exercising tino rangatiratanga over traditional fisheries.

Settlement History

Te Ohu Kai Moana Trust and Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited were created ultimately out of the Māori Fisheries Settlement 1992 between Māori and the Crown. Te Ohu Kaimoana is the successor to the Māori Fisheries Commission (1989 – 1992) and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (1992 – 2004).

Te Ohu Kaimoana was established to advance the interests of Māori in fishing and fisheries-related activities and to return valuable fisheries assets and funds from the Settlement to iwi organisations. The Trust is managed by a corporate trustee, Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited which is central to administering, protecting and enhancing the Fisheries Settlement to ensure that funds are delivered to iwi and ultimately all Māori.

The Settlement restored Māori property rights and established commercial enterprises, such Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (trading as Moana New Zealand), which in turn is the sole or joint shareholder of a number of New Zealand commercial fishing companies.  Through Te Ohu Kaimoana and various Iwi charitable organisations, the fisheries settlement has contributed to the establishment of a sustainable development system for the delivery of economic and social benefits to all Māori.  Iwi and Māori have become empowered to develop their own fishing enterprises and activities, as well as contribute to improving the health, welfare and education of communities in their own rohe now and in the future.

Te Ohu Kaimoana has a further role of advocating on behalf of Māori in respect of fisheries matters and the marine environment.

Who are we

 Settlement History

The Māori Fisheries Settlement is the first and only pan-iwi settlement between Māori and the Crown. Concluded in 1992, the Settlement is designed to deliver benefits ultimately to all Māori.

 Governance Structure

Our organisation is governed by a board of seven directors who provide a mix of skills including tikanga, leadership, management and strategic business skills.

Our Organisation

Te Ohu Kaimoana works on behalf of iwi on marine environment matters, and maintains relationships with fishing industry groups, government agencies, Parliament and Ministers.

Our People

Te Ohu Kaimoana employs a dedicated group of policy advisers, analysts and fisheries management specialists and specific experts from time to time.

 Māori Fisheries Act

Te Ohu Kaimoana was created by statute – the Māori Fisheries Act 2004. Click here to be taken through to an online version of the Act.

 Corporate documents

Read or download copies of our latest annual report, strategic plan, media releases, newsletters, and other information about our organisation.

Policy Advisory Services

Te Ohu Kaimoana provides fisheries advisory services to iwi, the Māori Fisheries Settlement entities and industry groups. Our policy team includes analysts with many years’ experience in fisheries and public policy, as well as enthusiastic and motivated university qualified staff.

Fisheries Management

We provide advice on a variety of fisheries management issues, from stock abundance and sustainability, regulations around fisheries compliance, marine protected areas, mātaitai, taiāpure, customary regulations, aquaculture management and others.

Customary Fisheries

Ongoing development of the customary fisheries regulations is one of Te Ohu Kaimoana’s major functions. Only Māori have access to customary fisheries. For many years, we have been working on ways that customary fishing can be efficiently and better managed.


Te Ohu Kaimoana has responsibilities under the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement Act, where iwi organisations are to receive 20 percent of designated Aquaculture Management Areas. We have statutory obligations to work with iwi in the allocation of the Māori share of AMAs in the development of aquaculture in Aotearoa New Zealand.


A primary function of Te Ohu Kaimoana has been focussed on the allocation of Māori Fisheries Settlement assets to iwi. Since the Māori Fisheries Act 2004 was passed, Te Ohu has allocated almost all the Settlement to, resulting in more than $500 million of fisheries assets placed in Māori ownership and management.


An important role of Te Ohu Kaimoana is maintaining effective communication with our iwi stakeholders, to keep them informed of important legislative, regulatory and policy developments that affect the value of their investment and assets from the Māori Fisheries Settlement. As iwi’s representative for universal fisheries issues, Te Ohu Kaimoana engages and liaises with a range of sectors.