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Taiapure - local fishery in Akaroa Harbour

Taiapure - local fishery in Akaroa Harbour

A taiäpure-local fishery is to be set up in the Akaroa Harbour, Haylocks Bay and Damons Bay in the Banks Peninsula, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Mr Anderton said the Akaroa Harbour taiäpure covered an area of special significance to Ngäi Tahu's rünanga of Önuku, Wairewa and Koukourärata ? the area's tängata whenua.

"It is significant as a source of food and for spiritual and cultural reasons."

The rünanga want to promote their tradition of customary food gathering, as well as address water pollution, the restoration of fish, aquatic life and seaweed species and allow Akaroa Harbour to continue as a major area of recreational fishing and tourism.

The taiäpure proposal envisages the appointment of a management committee that will have a broad community base, including representatives of recreational and commercial fishers, marine farmers and environmental groups.

Mr Anderton said this management committee would be able to recommend fishing regulations that help manage the local fisheries.

The proposal was first put forward in February 1998, and the proposal process was not completed until former Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia considered the final report and recommendations of the Mäori Land Court. Mr Benson-Pope and Mr Horomia accepted the Court's recommendation to establish the taiäpure.

Mr Horomia said the taiäpure provided for the recognition of rangatiratanga and of the right secured in relation to fisheries by Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Local interest in the taiäpure process, along with fisheries management and marine protection, led to the development of the 1998 Pöhatu Agreement between local stakeholder groups. This agreement supported the establishment of the taiäpure, as well as a marine reserve in the Flea Bay area, which was established as the Pöhatu Marine Reserve in July 1999.

The Pöhatu Agreement also included support for the Dan Rogers marine reserve application, which lies within the taiäpure between Gateway Point and Manukatahi (near Nine Fathom Point). The Pöhatu Agreement put the Dan Rogers application on hold until the taiäpure was ready to be established. Conservation Minister Chris Carter has now instructed the Department of Conservation to re-commence progress on the Dan Rogers application.

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