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Speech By Shane Jones Te Ohu Kai Moana Hui-a-Tau

Speech By Shane Jones
Chairman
Te Ohu Kai Moana


Te Ohu Kai Moana Hui-a-Tau, 11 May 2002
Pipitea Marae, Thorndon, Wellington


Thank you for making the effort to attend today¡¦s annual meeting of Te Ohu Kai Moana. I know for many of you, it¡¦s a long way to travel.

The Commissioners and I hope that you will be able to stay on in Wellington and attend the Maori Commercial Fisheries Conference at the Duxton Hotel here in Wellington on Monday.

There are a number of issues I wish to discuss this morning ¡V Allocation, Government reforms, Iwi Capacity, a catch-up on the Nissui Deal and issues in the current financial year, including the Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry.

In the months to the end of April this year, Te Ohu Kai Moana has achieved much. We have launched a new document on allocation, He Anga Mua. We have presented this document to all Iwi and urban Maori groups in December and consulted extensively in February and March through numerous hui.

We have worked hard to stave off the worst affects of a Government-introduced moratorium on aquaculture applications, but recognise there are more reforms that also impact on the fisheries settlement, and I¡¦ll talk more about that later.

We have launched two new scholarships that give Maori experience in working in fisheries and maritime law and also overseas with our Sealord joint-venture partner, Nissui.

And we have had stark reminders of the difficulties of the environment in which we operate. There have been downgrades of the expected gains from the industry; the events of September 11 have also had an adverse effect.

I also want to make mention of where things are at with the Maori Affairs Select Committee. As you will all know, that Committee said they wanted to be brought up to date on a number of issues concerning Te Ohu Kai Moana and issued nine or 10 terms of reference. This inquiry is imminent.

HE ANGA MUA

In the last 18 months, Commissioners and staff have done an enormous amount of work on allocation. This culminated in the release of the discussion document, He Anga Mua on 3 December last year.

As most of you know, this document presented four options on ways Te Ohu Kai Moana believes it best to allocate and distribute the benefits of the fisheries settlement. We then visited Iwi and interested parties around the country to hear what you thought.

We felt that, given the time it was taking to allocate PRESA, only half the fisheries settlement, it was sensible to look at POSA as well and provide options that facilitate resolution of the entire asset base. The separation of PRESA and POSA, we believe, contributed to the difficulty in reaching agreement on allocation.

It¡¦s fair to say that not one model received absolute support, but all models received a degree of support. Iwi and individuals were not shy about coming forward with what their thoughts were to the ideas raised in He Anga Mua and this can be evidenced from the more than 200 submissions we received.

It is now the work of staff to analyse those submissions and Commissioners to decide where to go from here.

Once a proposal for allocation and benefit distribution is done, we will send it out to all Iwi and interested parties. You will have about a month to say ¡¥yay¡¦ or ¡¥nay¡¦. But when you¡¦re making up your mind I want you to think about this: allocation has taken more than 10 years; do you want it to take another 10.

LITIGATION / DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Commissioners made it clear at last year¡¦s Hui a Tau they were not prepared to stand around and let things be decided for them. We were the ones appointed to the board and we all have a sense of responsibility for what we were appointed to do. Therefore, we decided to implement a dispute resolution process where we sat down and talked through the issues with litigant parties.

We believe the process served its purpose and provided space for progress to be made. Te Ohu Kai Moana is not allowed to report to the Minister of Fisheries as required by law until litigation has been dispensed with. Our hope is that this can be resolved.

We will continue working to resolve these disputes outside of the court system. We do not believe that the amount of time it is taking to resolve these matters through the courts, as well as the high monetary cost associated with such actions, is beneficial in the least to Maori, who will benefit more from having allocation finalised.

IWI MANDATES

The work on allocation is going forward, and it cannot be separated either from the work Te Ohu Kai Moana is doing with regard to dispute resolution.

One area of work that must continue is that of constitutions and structural requirements for Iwi organisations. No matter what¡¦s decided, no matter what allocation model eventually becomes ¡§the one¡¨, Iwi must be ready. The sooner Iwi organisations have their constitutional and structural mechanisms in place, the sooner Iwi can receive their allocated share of the fisheries settlement.

It is hoped that Iwi are working on these matters. No Iwi organisation will receive any final allocation in whatever form its takes until the it has met those minimum standards. This policy is not negotiable. We owe it to all Maori to ensure that every Iwi organisation is fully representational and accountable to all Iwi members.

Perhaps it is timely to remind Iwi organisations that constitutional amendments are time consuming. They will not be completed in a few days. It is impossible to begin and complete the process in less than three months. What Te Ohu Kai Moana wishes to avoid is a bottleneck of applications once allocation has been agreed ¡V that you then think it¡¦s time to get this done. We have limited staff and have no intention of taking extra staff on board to complete a process for which we have given ample notice for the last five years.

We are only too happy to work with those Iwi organisations who wish to complete this.

GOVERNMENT REFORMS

In the last 18 months, Te Ohu Kai Moana has also been involved in Government reforms of our oceans and seas. These reforms have been dealt with in different ways. For example the Moratorium on aquaculture was announced and quickly put through the Parliamentary process, whereas the development of the Oceans Policy is still at its early stages and has involved numerous hui.

These areas of work take up a lot of our time, in terms of analysing policy, research, developing recommendations that work for Maori, writing submissions, speaking to submissions, fronting select committees, etc.

This work is extremely necessary because the reforms have the potential to affect what Maori won through the Treaty Fisheries Settlement, for example they could reduce the value of our resources by limiting access to quota.

While we wish to ensure that the reforms are at least neutral as far as Maori fisheries resources are concerned, there is also opportunity to ensure that they have positive outcomes, for example by requiring all decision-makers to act consistently with the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claim) Settlement Act, or by enhancing Maori access to coastal space.

OCEANS POLICY

The last calendar year saw the Government¡¦s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy (MACOP) travel the country talking about development of the Oceans Policy. Last year was concerned about developing the over-arching framework for what the oceans mean to all of us. Over the next two years, the process will look at how we should continue to manage and use that ocean resource

I won¡¦t go in depth here, but there is a plethora of law that applies in the marine area (at least 18 pieces of legislation) and many have divergent objectives ¡V most have been developed based on single issues that needed solutions. This has resulted in multiple agencies (14 different Government departments as well as local government), each with a narrow management focus.

Te Ohu Kai Moana believes Iwi/Maori must participate at every level in this reform.
Any input should advance the appropriate recognition of the Treaty, and existing use rights including the Fisheries Settlement. It will be important to ensure that this review enhances the relationship of Maori to all marine resources and their management.

AQUACULTURE REFORMS

Aquaculture provides a significant opportunity to advance Maori into the business and activity of fishing, and Maori are at the forefront of it. In 2000, the Minister of Fisheries released a discussion document, ¡§Aquaculture ¡V Join the Discussion¡¨, and sought submissions.

Te Ohu Kai Moana was, and still is, participating in these reforms. In the meantime, however, the Government announced it would slap a moratorium on new applications for water space, and only those applications that had already reached the hearing stage would continue to be processed.

This was out of the blue. There was no warning it was coming. And the effect it would have had ¡V if left to go through unchanged ¡V would have been a blow to Maori. Maori would have lost out on some major developments that are in the pipeline. There is still the possibility for that to happen, but thankfully some larger Iwi applications around Napier and off the coast of Whakatane have now received approval.

These reforms came about because the Government had concerns that aquaculture was managed under several pieces of legislation. That there are inadequate mechanisms for resolving conflicts over the use of space. The reforms also concern policy development for Aquaculture Management Areas ¡V areas that will allow aquaculture to go ahead, with all other water space being off limits. Te Ohu Kai Moana¡¦s first response is, ¡¥Wouldn¡¦t it be better to identify where you don¡¦t want aquaculture?¡¦

It is critical that Maori participate in this reform. Te Ohu Kai Moana certainly will take a leading role. Aquaculture is growing in this country and estimates are between $550 million by 2010 and maybe over $1 billion by 2020. The foundations are being laid to make that happen and Maori are at the leading edge. But we need to stay there and ensure that our future in aquaculture is not diminished by this set of reforms.

MARINE RESERVES

The big issue for Te Ohu Kai Moana, for Maori and for the Seafood Industry now is marine reserves. It is Te Ohu Kai Moana¡¦s view that turning a particular spot in the ocean into a marine reserve is largely a feel good thing to do ¡V but what does it achieve?

In our view, marine reserves are the least preferred tool in the toolbox of environmental management.

They extinguish the very rights that the Deed of Settlement and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Clams Settlement Act aim to preserve. Therefore they must be established only with the full and informed consent of the hapu and Iwi who hold Tino Rangatiratanga within the respective rohe moana.

This means in areas where Maori are willing to forsake their traditional food basket. The displacement of fishing effort will inevitably affect neighbouring hapu or Iwi who must also be in agreement to take up the slack of fishing pressure as a consequence of shutting down the targeted area.

To date the establishment of Marine Reserves have eroded Maori fishing rights at only a creeping pace but this is all about to change very soon . If the new marine reserves bill is passed based on the Cabinet Decisions that have already been made, the number of marine reserves will multiply rapidly in the next five ¡V 10 years.

The establishment of Marine Reserves will remove all possibilities for the active exercise of Tino Rangatiratanga and Kaitiakitanga, for example, marine reserves will strictly be no-take and the Minister¡¦s discretion to allow for customary harvest will be removed.

Maori participation will be reduced to sitting on a committee that will blindly manage research and monitoring projects for a 25 year period. No consideration will be given to people as part of the biodiversity that makes up the ecosystem, or people¡¦s place in the food web, rather we will be required to look-on as the reserve takes on its own unnatural character.

The reasons for establishing Marine Reserves need to be very clear and justifiable from an environmental point of view. They should only be allowed to become established where no other tool can manage the risks to biodiversity.

It is therefore appropriate to look first to the range of tools that are currently available and in particular to those tools secured under the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Claims Settlement Act such as Mataitai, Rahui and Taiapure. If those tools are lacking in their implementation design, they must be reviewed with urgency to make them fully available as a first choice management provision.

There are some simple questions that get lost in the debate: what other options are there for protecting valued resources? Why are they under threat? There is a perception amongst many members of the public that resources that are used are unprotected. Debates about marine reserves reflect a view that the only way to protect the marine environment is to create ¡§no take¡¨ marine reserves.

The Government has announced its intention to have at least 10% of New Zealand marine waters within the EEZ under Marine Protected Areas. Within that 10% area, marine reserves would only be one of a number of tools that could be used, along with taiapure, mataitai, areas closed under the Fisheries Act, method controls and so on.

The Government also intends to extend the jurisdiction of the Marine Reserves Act beyond the 12 nautical mile limit to include the entire EEZ. And all this while Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed remain unresolved.

The clearing of space available to fishers by way of Marine Reserves will result in a replacement tourism industry, most clearly evident at the Leigh Marine Reserve. If the assets of existing rights holders are to be extinguished then the Government must acknowledge the full extent of the loss to fishers and either compensate them for the loss or consider ways of sharing with them the benefits of the replacement industry.

We understand that the new legislation contemplates no such consideration and remains silent on the matter of compensation.

The role marine reserves may play in marine conservation issues and their impact on customary rights as well as the ability of Maori to catch their fisheries quota requires in-depth discussion.

Te Ohu Kai Moana and the wider Maori community must ensure that Government processes and reforms do not erode Article II Treaty rights and do not dilute the effect of the fisheries settlement as set out in the Deed of Settlement, the Maori Fisheries Act, and the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act.

RECREATIONAL FISHING

In early 2000, the Minister of Fisheries released ¡§Soundings¡¨, a discussion document about where the Government wishes to take recreational fisheries. This document addresses issues associated with recreational fishing, including the nature and priority of shares in catch for recreational fishers and the role that recreational fishers can take in fisheries management. The nature of the share of take ¡V discretionary or proportional ¡V and the priority of the share is critical to Maori interests.

Unfortunately, our submission on this was associated with an incorrect report that said Te Ohu Kai Moana had offered to take over recreational fishing for all New Zealanders. Not hard to believe the reporter could have come to that conclusion given he¡¦d not read our submission, but heard someone saying they thought that¡¦s what we¡¦d done.

Despite that, our submission was well received by the Ministry of Fisheries. However, the Government has not announced any policy decisions on this issue since submissions closed. This one is a bit of a ¡§sleeping taniwha¡¨ and we will need to ensure that it does not bite us in our sleep. We have always taken the view that customary non-commercial Maori interests come first, Maori/commercial second, followed by recreational interests.

LEASE ROUNDS

With regard to the leasing of Annual Catch Entitlements, Te Ohu Kai Moana made available to Iwi the annual use of the PRESA and POSA quota for the 2000/01 financial year, as it has done so for the last 12 years.

Lease rounds are a significant component for assisting Maori in the business and activity of fishing each year. As you know, we hold two lease rounds¡V for the fishing years commencing on 1 October and 1 April the following year.

Over 75,000 tonnes of quota was leased, all at a considerable discount on the market prices for leasing the quotas concerned.

However, in the last few months Te Ohu Kai Moana has witnessed criticism of this programme. Namely, that some Iwi have received more than others and that this was at the expense of others.

Let me say here and now, lease rounds do not bring about an equal result. But they do bring about an outcome based on principles. For your information, final allocation of the settlement will not be equal, but it will, by all intents and purposes, be equitable.

(For those who don¡¦t know the difference, I refer you to the Oxford English Dictionary.)

In the initial years ¡V 1990 to 1993 ¡V an open tender system was used for leasing quota, and gave preferential weighting to Maori and Maori collectives. Nine years ago, having agreed to the QMS as part of the Settlement, there was a major re-orientation of our lease round policy.

It was decided to lease out by Fisheries Management Area. Inshore was leased by coastline of the FMA in any Quota Management Area. Deepwater fisheries were leased on a 50% coastline, 50% population basis. And, importantly, within each FMA, Iwi agreed their individual shares.

So, what was received was, and is, a consequence of geography ¡V in other words your Iwi boundaries, biology ¡V meaning where the fish are, Iwi population and Iwi agreement.

A point I would like to reiterate is that Iwi were consulted in the development of the lease rounds policy. You helped develop it. And you participated in a review in 1996, and again in 2001. But this policy was not only scrutinised twice by those who use it, it was also looked at by the courts, which found the process to be robust.

When it comes to information, Iwi are also informed each year through various panui of what each FMA gets on a species by species basis and, from these panui and being active participants in the fishing industry, can work out what each Iwi receives.

But I think it needs to be remembered that in 1992, Maori accepted the Quota Management System was the system to be used for managing our commercial fish species. We get 20% of all new species brought into the QMS. Accepting the QMS meant Maori also accepted the rationale behind FMAs, on which the lease rounds policy is developed.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Distributions to the Te Ohu Kai Moana Charitable Trust for scholarships and other forms of assistance totalled about $1 million, bringing total distributions to the trust to more than $7.2 million since its inception in 1994.

Te Ohu Kai Moana also implemented two prestigious scholarships: the Global Fisheries Programme and He Ture Pumau.

The Global Fisheries Programme is worth $250,000 and is awarded to two Maori each year providing global experience in the seafood industry through our Sealord Group Limited joint-venture partner, Nippon Suisan Kaisha or Nissui. The aim of the project is to:
„h Provide international business development and work opportunities for Te Ohu Kai Moana graduates;
„h Develop long term sustainable relationships with Nissui for the purpose of developing Maori human capital; and
„h Create robust structures for the promotion of graduates for the international fishing employment market.

He Ture Pumau is a post-graduate law scholarship with Nelson-based law firm Fletcher Vautier Moore and is pitched to develop specialist law skills in fisheries and maritime law. This project is to:
„h encourage young Maori law students/graduates to pursue studies and work in fisheries and maritime law;
„h provide employment mentoring and career counselling for one year; and
„h secure for Maori fishing a wealth of knowledge, skill and expertise in fisheries and maritime law.

I would like now to discuss a couple of points that are shaping up to be important issues in the current financial year.

ACCESS TO NON-QUOTA MANAGEMENT SPECIES

As I noted earlier the Commission considers that gaining access to Non-QMS species is a key priority. This access was promised as part of the Settlement and we consider its completion to be critical to the ongoing Fisheries Settlement.

Te Ohu Kai Moana has made representations to the Crown since 1997 that urgent progress needed to be made both in introducing new species into the QMS and also in providing Maori with access to those remaining species outside the QMS.

In the intervening 12 months, the Minister of Fisheries announced that the Government would bring into the QMS another 50 species by October 2004 and MFish are to release this month a discussion paper on proposed Total Allowable Catches for new species.

Last year, the Ministry of Fisheries announced that a number of new species would be brought into the Quota Management System (QMS) in 2002. These were South Island and Chatham Island kina; Paddle crab; Butterfish; Blue Mackerel; Queen scallops; Chatham Island scallops; Whangarei Harbour cockles; Anchovy; Pilchard; Garfish; and Sprats.

Coromandel scallops were introduced in April and Te Ohu Kai Moana has received 20% of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC).

The Ministry of Fisheries will also be releasing a consultation paper on the species that they propose to introduce in October 2003. Te Ohu Kai Moana expects to distribute a draft response to each of these papers to Iwi for comment before lodging a submission with the Ministry.

ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

The final two subjects I wish to talk about today are the state of the seafood economic landscape and the Maori Affairs Select Committee.

There are a number of inherent risks in the seafood industry. They are always there ¡V the sustainable management of a wild harvest; seasonal year to year variations; there are variations too in size and quality of fish; there are climatic effects, and economically there are foreign exchange fluctuations and lower market prices for our products.

What is needed is a broad mix of strategies to mitigate those risks. Sealord, for example, has these with its value-added strategy.

But there is also the need for long-term investment. The seafood industry is not a short-term business arrangement and calls for commitment. There needs to be investment in vessels, marine farms, research and development and people. And it is only with a long-term perspective that you can ride out the short-term adverse cycles.

We are going through an adverse cycle right now. September 11 events in New York did not help the seafood sector one bit. The Japan and the US economies are not as buoyant as they used to be.

The current global conditions mean that it now costs more to make a buck ¡V this is the cyclical nature of this industry.

It may be that Te Ohu Kai Moana does not do as well this current financial year as it did in the one we are now reporting on. We made an after-tax surplus of $37.1 million for the financial year ending 30 September 2001, compared with $11.2 million for the previous year. This year, we estimated coming somewhere in between those. But these are the vagaries of the seafood industry in which we manoeuvre Maori long-term interests and investment in New Zealand¡¦s commercial fishing industry.


MAORI AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE

Finally, I want to make a comment about the Maori Affairs Select Committee, in the light of the fact that it may be only a few weeks before it begins its inquiry into Te Ohu Kai Moana and the workings of Iwi. We understand there have been 16 submissions. We predict that half of the submissions are from either parties litigating or who have previously litigated against the Commission, and also parties who have grievances over whether Te Ohu Kai Moana recognises their mandate or not for allocation purposes.

You need to ask whether this is a constructive use of the Commission¡¦s time, given it¡¦s a Government desire to see allocation advanced as much as possible before the next election. We have always said that this hearing captures a large amount of resources of the Commission and for 16 submissions does seem out of proportion.

You need to ask whether Hone Taxpayer wants to see a full Parliamentary inquiry into an issue that concerns 16 people or organisations, of whom one is Te Ohu Kai Moana and eight or so have clear agendas.

Nevertheless, I want to make it clear today that Te Ohu Kai Moana has, and will comply, with the demands of the Committee, but that it does have some reservations over whether it will provide anything that helps get more Maori into the business and activity of fishing.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for coming today, thank you for listening. It¡¦s been a busy year and the first half of the current financial year is even busier.

In conclusion, I wish to confirm that Te Ohu Kai Moana continues to work for all Maori and aims to be an effective advocate for Maori interests in all aspects related to fishing.

Kia ora koutou katoa

ENDS

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