Te Ohu Kai Moana Trust (the Māori Fisheries Trust)
Te Ohu Kai Moana is a charitable trust established through the Māori Fisheries Act 2004.
The Trust is administered by Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited (known as Te Ohu Kaimoana) as the corporate trustee. The trust’s purpose is outlined in section 32 of the Act.
The Act gives Te Ohu Kaimoana a comprehensive list of duties and functions based around:
- Recognising Mandated Iwi Organisations (MIO) (and their accompanying Asset Holding Companies) when they have met the requirements in the Act
- Transferring the fisheries settlement assets to each MIO as per the allocation methodology set out in the Act,
- Holding supervisory powers over the other Settlement entities in the Te Ohu Kai Moana Group:
- Aotearoa Fisheries Limited;
- Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust; and
- Te Wai Māori Trust
- Appointing directors to these entities and, in the case of the latter two, providing their original funding and approving annual plans, including their fund distribution policies;
- Providing assistance to Te Kawai Taumata, which is called together as required to appoint directors to Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited. Te Kawai Taumata is made up of 10 people representing iwi and one person on behalf of Representative Māori Organisations (those organisations that have been established throughout New Zealand to represent the views of all Māori irrespective of iwi affiliation).
- Participating in regulatory and industry processes with the aim of protecting and enhancing the interests of iwi and Māori in fisheries and fisheries-related activities.
Section 32 of the Māori Fisheries Act outlines the charitable purpose of Te Ohu Kai Moana Trust, which is to advance the interests of iwi individually and collectively, primarily in the development of fisheries, fishing, and fisheries-related activities, in order to—
- ultimately benefit the members of iwi and Māori generally;
- further the agreements made in the Deed of Settlement;
- assist the Crown to discharge its obligations under the Deed of Settlement and the Treaty of Waitangi; and
- contribute to the achievement of an enduring settlement of the claims and grievances referred to in the Deed of Settlement.
The Trust is managed by a Corporate Trustee, which is tasked with acting as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece for the collective interests in fishing and fisheries-related activities of the recognised 57 iwi organisations. In doing so, it works with AFL and Sealord and the wider industry to ensure sustainability of the fishery resources.
Te Ohu Kaimoana has been structured to ensure the fisheries settlement endures for future generations of Māori and maintains robust accountability to its constituent iwi shareholders, who have collective responsibilities to all Māori. The diagram below, “Fisheries Settlement Structures”, shows how the constituent organisations fit together.
Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust is also a charitable trust. It promotes Māori education, training and research. It provides scholarships to a variety of trade and academic programmes, and supports Māori social and economic development by providing leadership in education, skills and workforce training.
Te Wai Māori Trust is also recognised as a charitable trust. It was established to advance Māori interests in freshwater fisheries, and funds research, development and education initiatives related to freshwater fisheries and their habitats. The trust further promotes the protection and enhancement of water bodies that support populations of freshwater fish.