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Akaroa Harbour Taiäpure comes into effect

31 March 2006

Akaroa Harbour Taiäpure comes into effect

A taiäpure-local fishery came into effect in the Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula today.

"The Akaroa Harbour taiäpure covers an area of special significance to the area's tängata whenua," says Mr Anderton. "The taiäpure area is significant for food gathering, and for spiritual and cultural reasons. Its creation upholds the manawhenua and manamoana of the local hapü - Önuku, Wairewa and Koukourärata."

These hapü want to promote their tradition of customary food gathering, as well as address the issue of water pollution, the restoration of fish, aquatic life and seaweed species in Akaroa Harbour. They also want the harbour to continue as a major area of recreational fishing and tourism.

"The establishment of the Akaroa Harbour Taiäpure does not change any of the existing fishing regulations," Mr Anderton says.

"The hapü involved are establishing a management committee that will have a broad community base. This will include representatives of recreational and commercial fishers, marine farmers, and local environmental interests. The committee will be able to recommend changes to fishing regulations that help manage fisheries within the taiäpure."

The process of establishing the Akaroa Harbour Taiäpure has taken more than 10 years. It is now complete, with the Governor-General declaring the taiäpure by Order-in-Council, Mr Anderton says.

Taiäpure Background Information

The taiäpure provisions of the Fisheries Act 1996 and the mätaitai reserve provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 together seek to provide tängata whenua with the opportunity to have a greater say in the management and use of fisheries important to them.

Taiäpure can be established in coastal waters (including harbours and estuaries) that have special significance to any iwi or hapü, either as a source of food or for spiritual or cultural reasons.

How is a taiäpure established?

A proposal for a taiäpure must describe the various fishing interests in the area, the species of fish that are of particular importance and why the area has special significance to the tängata whenua putting forward the proposal.

The Minister of Fisheries, after consultation with the Minister of Mäori Affairs, then decides whether or not to agree 'in principle' with the taiäpure proposal. If agreed, a notice of the proposal would be published in the New Zealand Gazette calling for objections to be lodged with the Mäori Land Court. The Mäori Land Court then reports to the Minister of Fisheries with recommendations. Finally, the Minister of Fisheries decides whether or not to accept the recommendations of the Mäori Land Court.

How does taiäpure management work?

Once a taiäpure proposal has been approved, the Minister of Fisheries appoints a management committee from those nominated by the local Mäori community.

This management committee can then advise the Minister of Fisheries on regulations to manage and conserve the area's fisheries.

How does a taiäpure affect other fishers?

Upon establishment of a taiäpure, there are no changes to any fishing arrangements within the taiäpure until the Minister appoints management committee members and the Minister agrees to any recommended changes to fishing regulations put forward by the committee.

The effect of a taiäpure on the fisheries in an area, and on the people using them, would depend on the particular regulations put forward by the management committee and agreed to by the Minister of Fisheries.

In the meantime, commercial and recreational fishers must adhere to the current fishing regulations for the wider area.

Regulations for managing a taiäpure cannot discriminate against people on the grounds of colour, race or ethnic or national origins.

How is a taiäpure different from a mätaitai reserve?

The principal difference between a taiäpure and a mätaitai reserve is that upon establishment a taiäpure allows commercial fishing to continue, while establishing a mätaitai reserve generally excludes commercial fishing (although this can be reinstated by way of fishing regulation). Both taiäpure and mätaitai allow recreational and customary fishing to continue.

Once established, a taiäpure management committee can recommend changes by way of fishing regulations.

The tangata kaitiaki/tiaki for a mätaitai reserve can recommend regulations only to reinstate commercial fishing. However, they can also recommend bylaws for the management of stocks in the area of the reserve.

Where have other taiäpure been established?

There are currently eight taiäpure throughout New Zealand. These taiäpure were established: in July 1995 at Palliser Bay on the south Wairarapa coast; in September 1996 at Maketu in the Bay of Plenty; in December 1996 at Porangahau in southern Hawkes Bay; in December 1997 at Waikare Inlet in the Bay of Islands; in July 1999 at East Otago in July 1999; in May 2000 at Kawhia Harbour on the west coast of the North Island; in February 2002 at Delaware Bay, north of Nelson; and most recently in Akaroa Harbour, Banks Peninsula.


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