December 02, 2015
Maori fishing sector in leader search
The outgoing chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana says there is a real need for good leadership in the Maori fisheries sector as it tries to get the commercial returns expected by iwi.
Matiu Rei was ousted after just one term on the Maori fisheries settlement trust, meaning a new chair needs to be found to take the organisation through a period of major change as it hands over many of its core assets to iwi.
He’s proud of what was achieved on his watch, including settling down the board after a failed attempt to shift assets between Aotearoa Fisheries and Sealord, exiting Sealord’s loss-making venture in Argentina, and unlocking tax credits within Sealord to give a $30 million windfall for iwi shareholders.
He says many in Maoridom still don’t appreciate the need to work together.
"There needs to be be a lot more commitment from the tribes to those two commercial organisations (Aotearoa Fisheries and Sealord) and a lot more commitment from those two organisations back to the tribes. It's starting to improve but it is nowhere near where it should be and there will be opportunities for Maori to take an even greater share of the fishing sector in New Zealand,but we need to be organised and ready for it," Mr Rei says.
Now he’s out of the role he will have more time for his work with Ngati Toa, which has its historic treaty settlement to bed down.
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