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Treaty Tribes - The Optimum Allocation Model



The Optimum Allocation Model is the agreed mechanism for allocating “pre-settlement” fisheries assets to iwi, including inshore and deepwater quota, shares in Moana Pacific Fisheries and cash. The model was developed by the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission through a five-year consultation process from 1993 to 1998 and achieved the support of 76 percent of iwi representing more than 63 percent of Mäori.

The background to the model is that, in 1988, the Waitangi Tribunal found that iwi had an exclusive right to inshore fisheries and a Treaty of Waitangi right to share with the wider community in the development of deepwater fisheries.

This finding led to the 1989 interim settlement and the 1992 final Settlement. The interim settlement delivered assets now worth $350 million and the final Settlement delivered additional assets now worth a further $350 million. These assets were to be temporarily managed by the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission while a method to allocate them to iwi was worked out.

The Optimum Allocation Model, developed from 1993 to 1998, takes into account the different views of different iwi. Through the consultation process, a population-based formula tended to be favoured more by large iwi in the north of the North Island, stressing the development side of the 1988 Waitangi Tribunal decision. A coastline-based formula tended to be favoured by tribes on the east coasts of both islands, stressing the exclusive rights side of the decision. These different views tended to reflect differences in population and coastline among iwi.

The compromise developed by the five-year consultation process and which has received the support of the overwhelming majority of Mäori is the OAM. It involves the following distribution:

 Inshore quota on a coastline basis, so an iwi with 20% of the coastline of one quota management area for one fishstock receives that percentage of quota for that fishstock in that area.

 Deepwater quota (for fisheries caught in water 300m or deeper) with 50% allocated on a coastline basis and 50% on a population basis, so if an iwi has 20% of the entire iwi affiliate population of Aotearoa it receives 20% of this half of the deepwater fishery. The iwi affiliate population is based on the 1996 Census.

 Shares in Moana Pacific Fisheries to be allocated to iwi in proportion to the entire quota volume allocated to each iwi.

 $40 million cash to be allocated on the basis of population.

 $10 million cash to be vested in a Development Putea trust fund targeted at those Mäori who might not otherwise benefit from the Settlement, such as those who cannot establish or have no close contact with their iwi.

The model also involves a dispute resolution process and requirements that iwi structures demonstrate mandate and are accountable to their people.

Despite being finalised in 1998, the model has not been implemented because of the technical legal challenges of a few individuals. No other model has been developed for allocation, let alone one with such overwhelming support.


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