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New Taiapure For Nelson’s Delaware Bay

Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson has welcomed the establishment of a new taiapure-local fishery at Nelson’s Delaware Bay.

The Whakapuaka Taiapure at Delaware Bay, east of Nelson, covers an area from Ataata Point to Whangamoa Head, including Cable Bay and Pepin Island. It comes into effect today, following more than five years of negotiation and consultation between Ngati Tama, the government, fishing interest groups, and the community.

The Whakapuaka Taiapure was proposed by the Ngati Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust in 1997, approved in principle by the government of the time and then heard by the Maori Land Court. Mr Hodgson, in consultation with Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia, accepted the Court’s recommendation last year that a taiapure-local fishery should be established at Delaware Bay.

No appeals on the recommendation or the decision have been received since it was gazetted last year and it has now received final confirmation by Order in Council from the Governor-General.

“A taiapure-local fishery enables local management of local resources by people who care about them and have strong ties to the area,” Mr Hodgson said. “I am very pleased that Ngati Tama has succeeded in establishing one for Delaware Bay, an area of great significance to the iwi, with the support and cooperation of fishing interests and the community.”

The Trust’s objectives for the area include managing its fisheries conservatively so that fish stocks recover, especially paua, lobster, flounder, snapper, kina, oysters and scallops. Proposals for the future include conservative recreational catch limits, some restrictions on commercial fishing, a five-year moratorium on Maori customary fishing, and research on stock enhancement.

Mr Hodgson will be asked to approve the appointment of a management committee for the taiapure-local fishery representing Maori, the local community, recreational and commercial fishing interest groups, and environmental interests. The committee will be able to recommend regulations for the conservation and management of the fisheries resources in the taiapure-local fishery.


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