Monday, 31 August 2009


We have it on good authority that commercial fishing interests are considering a legal challenge over Mataitai. These are supposed to be small discreet areas set aside for customary harvest for Maori. Maori have the management authority over these marine areas.

There are two issues. the Mataitai are not so discreet - the areas applied for are getting much larger than the " feed " areas they were originally designed for.

Secondly, there is a groundswell of opinion in the fisheries legal ranks that the legislation has been wrongly interpreted by Maori and that they cannot exclude commercial fishing.

If what we are hearing is correct then we could see a shit fight that is as big as the Foreshore and Seabed debate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Otakou Runanga, down here in the south, are about to finalise a Mataitai in Otago harbour. In doing so they are being short sighted and missing out on an economic opportunity. A company objecting to the mataitai is Southern Clams who have been harvesting cockles, sustainably, for about 15-20 years in Blueskin Bay around the corner . The Blueskin Bay resource is big but the Otago Harbour cockle resource is even bigger. The missed opportunity is the 10% fishing quota allocated to Iwi; in this case, cockles. Otakou is going to lose the ability to fish cockles commercially unless they find a way to do so. It will be a wholly dishonest move if they do. Yet behind it all is the Chair of the Runanga, Tahu Potiki- have a look at the ngai tahu shareholders website to see how much damage he has done.
By contrast, in terms of Maori fisheries regulations/opportunities, the adjoining Runanga, Puketeraki, ( up the road from Karitane and encompasses Blueskin Bay) were one of the first to have a Taiapure gazetted ( early 90’s). A Taiapure allows local communities to have a say about their fisheries. Maori have to initiate a Taiapure but the Taiapure committee must have an equal balance of Maori and Pakeha. The committee cannot ban commercial fishing. But, for example, it has recently placed a ban on the taking of paua- good news and there has been great support for this.

The Puketeraki Runanga have not opted to go fishing cockles but they have an opportunity; Otakou are about to close their door- what a pity.

Lesson: Get smart Iwi

P. S. Southern Clams have a special permit from MAF to harvest cockles for 3 years for research – smart buggers.