Iwi/Māori interests in the ocean include safeguarding taonga and mahinga kai (food gathering locations and resources), spiritual practices, customary rights, and commercial and recreational fishing. Iwi/Māori resource management ethos provides for sustainable use so marine biodiversity is enhanced and is not subject to unacceptable risks.
The Marine Reserves Act does not explicitly recognise the kaitiaki role of iwi/Māori in marine protection. An important purpose of the new MPA Act will be to recognise the Treaty of Waitangi appropriately and strengthen iwi/Māori involvement in marine protection processes. Iwi/Māori participation will be an important part of any consensus that may be reached. To achieve this purpose, the new MPA Act will:
- include a Treaty clause that is consistent with the current levels of statutory recognition of Treaty of Waitangi obligations and responsibilities
- provide meaningful iwi/Māori involvement in all stages of marine protection processes, including the establishment of MPAs and their management, which will ensure that legislative reforms will not result in any inconsistencies with the provisions of Treaty settlement legislation
- maintain the integrity of rights and interests recognised under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011
- ensure existing arrangements for non-commercial customary fishing, including taiapure and mātaitai reserves, are fully recognised and maintained
- enable customary fishing activities and the management of important customary fishing areas to be included in integrated marine protection packages, where appropriate
- require that any advisory committees on MPAs include representation of iwi/Māori.
- Are the proposed decision-making processes sufficient to ensure customary interests, rights and values are appropriately taken into account, Treaty of Waitangi principles are met and decisions are consistent with the Crown’s historical Treaty settlement obligations (objectives 3 and 4)? If not, what are your concerns?