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Iwi Fisheries meet for Annual Conference

Iwi Fisheries meet for Annual Conference

What has been referred to as a tumultuous trading and operating environment will come under the spotlight next month as iwi fishing businesses gather for the 7th annual Maui National Maori Fisheries Conference, hosted by the Treaty Tribes Coalition and the Maori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana.

A range of national and international speakers as well as local iwi representatives have been brought together for the conference, to be held at the Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel. Delegates will look at the current trading and economic environment that impacts on iwi fishing businesses, as well as important regulatory changes implemented over the last year.

Treaty Tribes Coalition representative Ngahiwi Tomoana said the annual Maui National Maori Fisheries Conference is an important event in the iwi fishing calendar for iwi as it’s one of the few opportunities they have to meet nationally and focus on their fishing businesses.

“It’s true to say that the last 12 months have been somewhat tumultuous for many iwi fishing business because of domestic and international factors. Coupled with huge changes to the fishing regulations for deepwater fisheries, the year ahead will be a real challenge for many in the industry,” Mr Tomoana said.

The theme for this year’s conference – “Scaling the Heights: 100 Years ki Muri, 100 Years ki Mua” – is about looking to the past to meet the challenges of the future as iwi aim to grow and expand their fisheries businesses.

Mr Tomoana said he hopes that iwi delegates will take inspiration from a speech from Mr Naoya Kakizoe, the man who has led Japanese global seafood giant Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Limited (Nissui) for the last 10 years as its President and who first entered the company 50 years ago. Nissui is partnered with iwi-owned fishing company Aotearoa Fisheries Limited in the ownership of the Maori flagship fishing company Sealord Group Ltd.

“We all want iwi fisheries businesses to scale the heights of greatness for their iwi. Our conference provides the opportunity for iwi businesses to meet and help each other face the challenges of getting to the top,” he said.

Mr Tomoana said he expected a thorough debate over law changes to the way in which foreign fishing vessels can be used to catch deepwater species in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. “Collectively, iwi fishing companies make up less than 10 percent of New Zealand fishing businesses using foreign charter vessels, and yet through wrong information in the media, iwi have been blamed for all the problems in the deepwater fishery. But we all have to abide by new regulations and delegates should expect this topic to be well canvassed at this conference.”

Information about this year’s Maui National Maori Fisheries Conference, including the programme and how to register is available on the Te Ohu Kaimoana website at www.teohu.maori.nz

ENDS

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