Kawhia Aotea taiapure established
Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson announced today the formal establishment of the Kawhia Aotea Taiapure (local fishery) in the Kawhia and Aotea Harbours, Waikato, effective 8 June 2000.
“The Kawhia and Aotea Harbours have long been the seafood basket for Tainui people,” Mr Hodgson said. "Today these harbours also attract recreational and commercial fishing and the high level of fishing in a relatively confined area creates a need for more intensive fisheries management.
“At Kawhia and Aotea, tangata whenua have taken the initiative to help provide a local management framework for sustainable utilisation of the fisheries.”
Mr Hodgson said the taiapure would provide additional protection for fisheries at Kawhia Aotea that were of special significance to local Maori as a food source, and for spiritual and cultural reasons. It also gave the local community a mechanism for resolving outstanding fisheries management issues.
The taiapure covers all of Kawhia and Aotea harbours, plus ‘bubbles’ extending two nautical miles from the harbour entrances, a one-nautical-mile coastal strip from Taranaki Point to Albatross Point, and a one-nautical-mile circle around Karewa (Gannet) Island.
The next step in establishing the taiapure is the appointment of a management committee to recommend to the Minister fisheries regulations for the area. These regulations could control amateur and commercial size limits, seasons, closures, bag limits, and method or gear restrictions.
“I expect the committee of management will be consulting with interested parties before making any recommendations to me,” Mr Hodgson said. “I know also that the applicants want to make sure the management committee is representative of fishing interests in the area.”
"I urge the public and interested organisations to support the Kawhia Aotea Taiapure and become actively involved in it," Mr Hodgson said. "That will ensure it achieves its goal of sustainably managing local fisheries on behalf of the broader community."