October 27, 2020
Second thoughts needed on fishy carve up
New Zealand First’s election loss means a block to amendment of the Māori Fisheries Act is removed – but former MP Shane Jones says any changes to either the Māori Fisheries Settlement or the quota management system need to be handled carefully.
The Ngāpuhi Rūnanga and its asset holding company have spoken out against a proposed reform that would take surplus cash from the Māori fisheries settlement trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana Māori, and divide it equally among iwi large or small.
That was one of a raft of proposed amendments approved iwi at the trust’s 2016 annual meeting, but Mr Jones says New Zealand First refused to support the change.
He says other iwi may also want to reconsider how they are looking ahead and trying to get financial assistance to buy new vessels.
"The difficulty is once we broke up a significant portion of the Māori fisheries assets into smaller pieces then you lost your ability to raise debt and basically expand the industry because you need to have the asset base," Mr Jones says.
He says Māoridom and the rest of the fishing industry need to step up and say what changes are needed to improve the quota management system.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com