Monday, June 2, 2014
Mike Butler: ‘Fishing’ tribes say bill breaches treaty
Tribal business leaders claim the government’s rejection of a recommendation to exempt iwi from re-flagging foreign charter vessels is a modern breach of the Treaty of Waitangi that would diminish the fisheries settlement by between 20 and 30 percent.
About 60 tribal business leaders were to discuss the bill at the Iwi Leaders Forum meeting in Te Kuiti on Friday. The bill had its second reading in Parliament on April 15.
The primary production select committee proposed four exemptions for: migratory tuna, annual catch entitlement derived from fishing settlement quota, fisheries related research, and exceptional circumstances.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, who is responsible for the bill, ruled out the exemption for tribes saying “exemptions to re-flagging risk undermining the Government’s ability to enforce its labour and vessel safety standards on foreign charter vessels”.
Ngati Kahungunu authority chair Ngahiwi Tomoana, Hawke's Bay, said the move would diminish iwi fisheries settlement by between 20 and 30 percent. He said the new rules would damage Maori economies and was a modern breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.
While claiming a treaty breach is a bit like waving a get-out-of-jail-free card, Tomoana would be hard pressed to argue how ending abuse and underpayment of crew, and pillaging the fisheries by foreign charter vessels would breach the Treaty of Waitangi.
Ngati Porou Seafoods in Gisborne used these foreign ships, including, at one stage, the Korean Oyang 70 that sank in 2010 off Otago with the deaths of six crew members. Tainui's Raukura Moana Fisheries used ageing Ukrainian boats, while Ngai Tahu ceased direct involvement in deepwater fishing.
Ngapuhi, as New Zealand’s biggest tribe (with 125,000 members) which got the biggest share of the commercial fisheries settlement, has a 50/50 joint-venture company, Northland Deepwater JV Ltd, with DSM Ltd, an Auckland firm.
The bulk of Ngapuhi’s $19-million income last year came from the sale of their annual catch entitlement, in particular their deep-water entitlement, the share of the profits from the fishing joint venture, and dividends from Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, according to Ngapuhi's 2013 report. The report acknowledged the likely impact of not being able to use foreign charter vessels.
Hawke’s Bay's Ngati Kahungunu had a deal with Northland Deepwater.
Fisheries bill a Treaty breach - iwi. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/245822/fisheries-bill-a-treaty-breach-iwi
Second reading of the Fisheries Amendment Bill http://business.scoop.co.nz/2014/04/16/second-reading-of-the-fisheries-amendment-bill/
Whakatupu – for the next generation. http://www.ngapuhi.iwi.nz/Data/Sites/3/downloads-folder/annualreports/ar2013_final_web.pdf
at 1:24 PM