Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Whitebait partners look for solutions

16 April 2014

Whitebait partners look for solutions

Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report.

The report is the result of an initial scoping project to better understand the complex and inter-related resource management issues around whitebaiting in the lower Waikato River. The area has traditionally been a plentiful source of whitebait but over the years more and more people are seeking to gather the delicacy there.

With more people comes increased pressures for space to build stands, an increase in the number and size of baches and associated pressures such as sewage management, and a growing amount of whitebait being taken.

Stands are structures used for netting whitebait within, or on the banks of, rivers and coastal areas. As efforts to better manage the fishery and related issues are developed, people are being urged to ensure that no new stands or buildings are constructed unless they comply with all relevant district and regional council rules.

The work on the issues at Port Waikato builds on long-standing efforts to protect the health of the river and the whitebait fishery. Those efforts have been given a boost recently by the Waikato River Authority’s decision to set aside $1.5 million over five years for the restoration of habitat that supports whitebait.

Rahui Papa, Chairman of Waikato-Tainui tribal executive – Te Arataura, says: "The Waikato River is regarded as our tupuna and is home to some of our most precious fishery resources which we have a duty to protect and maintain for current and future generations.”

Waikato-Tainui and Waikato Regional Council have also completed a comprehensive Port Waikato whitebait stand survey and the subsequent new report on the issues raised. Those involved with Waikato-Tainui and the regional council in looking at the issues raised by the report include the Huakina Development Trust (representing local marae), the Department of Conservation, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, and Waikato District Council.

Key issues raised in the report include:
• the need to take a look at how a range of whitebait-related issues are managed
• ensuring mandated fishing rights are upheld
• the need to ensure that sewage is not being discharged into the river
• ensuring that rules relating to whitebait stands and baches are followed
• making sure there is a healthy river and a good environment for whitebait at Port Waikato.

Some of the initial actions being taken in response to the report include:
• Regional council staff are talking to the council about options for undertaking additional compliance monitoring next season, particularly with regard to unlawful sewage discharges
• The regional council will, through its long term plan development, look at what extra measures may be required over the next three years
• Waikato-Tainui, the Waikato River Authority and the regional council will look at opportunities for habitat restoration to improve whitebait spawning areas.

Waikato-Tainui, councils and agencies will also be discussing with the local community what more can be done to address the issues identified in the report.

“Working alongside whaanau, marae, councils and agencies to address the issues identified in the report will enhance communication and ensure we find solutions which are suitable to everyone,” says Mr Papa.

Regional council chairperson Paula Southgate said discussions with marae and the wider local community would be an important part of the process for moving forward. “We want practical, workable solutions to the issues that have been identified.

“The regional council will be discussing the issues raised in the report when it reviews its work programmes for its next Long Term Plan, and when it reviews the regional plan, starting in 2015.”

The survey by Waikato-Tainui and the regional council has found there are around 870 whitebait stands in the area compared with about 500 stands registered with the regional council, as is required. The survey has also identified seven waahi tapu (sacred sites), three whitebait spawning grounds and around 40 kilometres of actively used customary Maori fishing areas alongside the riverbank where stands may or may not be present.

Of the 870 stands recorded by the survey, many appear to not comply properly with the standards in the regional council’s permitted activity rule in the Waikato Regional Plan relating to maximum size and a minimum distance from other stands.

“All parties involved are committed to finding a pathway forward that protects the river and whitebait stocks, ensures fair fishing for all and promotes the following of the correct district and regional council rules when building whitebait stands and related structures,” said Ms Southgate.

“Going forward, the regional council’s intention is to initially focus on talking to people about any activity or structure which appears dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.”

It is intended to hold information meetings for Port Waikato people shortly to discuss the issues in the report.

The full report is available online at http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/TR201318/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news