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Fisheries Commission Annual Report 2001/02

Fisheries Commission Annual Report 2001/02

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission’s annual report for the year ending 30 September 2002 was tabled in Parliament today.

Fisheries Commission Chairman Shane Jones said that despite the financial year being a mixed one for the Commission, the Group’s after-tax profit was in line with expectations. The Commission reported an after-tax profit of $19.7 million on an operating surplus before tax of $23 million.

“Our results are in keeping with what we expected given the continued slowdown experienced in the second half of 2001, lower volumes of product and weakening demands from the world’s whitefish markets,” he said.

During the year in review, the Commissioners advanced allocation to the point where Maori are now on the verge of resolving over 10 years of bitter debate. Commissioners’ fees for the year in review were at $1.2 million. The Commission released options for allocation of the entire fisheries settlement in December 2001 through a discussion document called He Anga Mua. The submissions received on He Anga Mua were used to develop one proposed method of allocation, which was released in August last year. The model was called Ahu Whakamua.

“The Commissioners undertook a huge workload during the last financial year. Now Commissioners have achieved agreement among Iwi and advanced allocation to a level never previously experienced,” Mr Jones said.

Commissioners travelled the country and met with all Iwi in December 2001 informing people of the proposals in He Anga Mua. They met with all Iwi again in February and March 2002 conducting 16 consultation hui over the proposals before developing Ahu Whakamua and holding another 15 or so meetings with individual Iwi to achieve agreement. “Without that level of commitment and indefatigable resolve, the Commission would never have succeeded in achieving support of 91 percent of Iwi to report a model of allocation to the Minister of Fisheries,” Mr Jones said.

Distributions to the Te Ohu Kai Moana Charitable Trust for scholarships and other forms of assistance totalled $1.1 million, bringing total distributions to the trust to more than $8.3 million since its inception in 1994.

Net assets for the year totalled $475.9 million up from $457.0 million for the previous financial year. Mr Jones said the Commission was achieving an average yearly growth rate of 6.1 percent after tax. After allowing for the benefits to Iwi through the discounted lease and ACE rounds, the return increases to more than 10.1 percent. Meanwhile, Te Ohu Kai Moana continues to improve its position, currently holding more than 33 percent of New Zealand’s aggregate Total Allowable Commercial Catch, making it a major player in New Zealand’s expanding seafood industry.

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