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

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news