New Zealand Challenges
An independent review of New Zealand’s fisheries sector undertaken in 2008 by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that New Zealand fisheries management is amongst the world’s best. However the report also identified that there remain some significant challenges that will need to be tackled if the considerable potential for economic, cultural, social and environmental value from New Zealand’s fisheries resources is to be fully realised.
The PWC report found that the settlement of Māori claims to commercial and customary fishing rights now sees Māori as a major player in the New Zealand fishing industry, and provides a platform from which to greatly influence the future development of fisheries management. Since the 1992 Settlement, Māori have increased their control of the commercial fishing quota to over 30% of New Zealand’s commercial fishing rights. Tāngata whenua have also increasingly taken up the autonomous management of their customary non-commercial interests using a range of regulatory instruments.
However, the relationship of Māori to the range of fisheries management issues is intensely complex for both Māori and non-Māori. Māori currently participate in management at a number of levels. Confusion can occur over which role is being taken at any given time and the mandate of different groups to represent these interests.
The result is that some aspects of the Fisheries Settlement have been slow to get traction. Improved mechanisms for Crown-Māori decision-making and co-management should be a key priority over the next few years.
Source : Fisheries 2030 (Price Waterhouse Coopers, November 2008)