Tuesday, 10 March 2009


The Press has an update on the eel fishing levy being imposed by Ngai Tahu here

We agree with Rik Tau - we think that the eel fishers have a valid reason to be concerned. And what has complicated it is the fawning support of DOC for the actions of the iwi as reported here.
If there is one person who has the institutional memory of what took place and what was agreed it is Rik. This also indicates that there are disagreements on a number of fronts within Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu.

A former Ngai Tahu Treaty negotiator has attacked the tribe's plan to charge commercial fishermen to use Lake Ellesmere.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Tront) wants five local eelers to pay for their use of the lake bed.

It was returned to the tribe in its 1998 Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

The money would go towards a lake restoration fund to which Ngai Tahu would also contribute.

Rik Tau, who was one of the tribe's primary Treaty negotiators, said the idea of making the fishermen pay went against the spirit of the settlement.

"It disturbs us that this is now the behaviour of our people because the settlement act didn't take away their (eelers') rights; in fact, it protected them," he said.

At the time of the negotiations the fishermen, Ngai Tahu and the Fishing Industry Board met several times to agree on an eel management plan for Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere).

Everyone entered negotiations in good faith and the fishermen agreed to limits, such as not taking eels over 4 kilograms or fishing in the rivers flowing into the lake, said Tau.

"No discussions ever took place on paying anyone for the right to fish for commercial eels in Te Waihora to Ngai Tahu," he said.

"The high-handed actions now of the Te Waihora Management Board could see a retaliation from the commercial fishers to have those previous agreements declared ultra vires and invalid.

"That would be sad because we sat down in a spirit of goodwill, honour, credibility and integrity to come to a conclusion to those values of sustainability."


LAMBCUT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LAMBCUT said...

If charging fishers is meant to be corporate responsibility compatible with tikanga Mr Solomon could be hoisted on his own petard:

Ngāi Tahu - An Intergenerational Investor, author Mark Solomon

"Corporate Social Responsibility With investment comes many things and corporate responsibility is an increasingly popular term these days, and one which does not exclude tangata whenua. The concept of CSR actually acknowledges and reinforces our concepts of kaitiakitanga and whakatipuranga. But it is still a Western construct, and although the underlying principles may be compatible with tikanga - tikanga is not at its foundation. We need to construct our own form of “tribal corporate social responsibility”. The challenge before us is to translate tikanga into something that works in a commercial world. Over the years Ngāi Tahu has instinctively behaved in ways that honour our tikanga – but more and more we are called upon to express these values in a corporate context. Doing that is an important task that we are grappling with now, and these are some examples of what a “tribal responsibilities” policy might look like for Ngāi Tahu.

• That all property development projects adhere to the aspirations of NT to be a leader in environmentally friendly practices and materials, energy efficiency etc…
• That we actively seek out direct investments that give rise to employment, training, education and/or leadership opportunities for Ngāi Tahu whānui.
• That Ngāi Tahu should not engage in fishing quota for species that are endangered, or threatened.
• That in respect of inter-iwi commercial arrangements, like Joint ventures - the commercial operations should be guided by relationships founded in tikanga.

The main point is that we expect our commercial arms to give effect to principles of tribal and social corporate responsibility in all commercial operations, consistent with the values and visions of our people. Commercial operations will have a significant impact on the mana, reputation and broader public perception of Ngāi Tahu."