Wednesday March 21, 2018   Last updated 08:39AM

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Paua cuts on hold as TOKM goes to court

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Te Ohu Kaimoana has joined paua industry groups to seek a judicial review of the way Primary Industry Minister Nathan Guy has cut the Total Allowable Commercial Catch in paua.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta says the cuts affect catches at the top of the South Island and Wharekauri-Chatham islands.

He says the industry offered to voluntarily shelve up to 30 percent of quota, but the ministry insisted on the cuts.

That triggers what are known as 28N rights, where any subsequent increases in quota go first to fishers who opted to forego monetary compensation when catch levels were reduced with the introduction of the quota management system in the 1980s.

Mr Tuuta says those rights were created before the Maori Fisheries Settlement which guaranteed Maori 10 percent of some species including paua.

"In the future when the TACC is raised, that 10 percent interest, that minimum interest, would be reduced. Maori assets would be used to settle the crown obligation to those quota owners. Well that is a breach of the deed of settlement. It is not an act of good faith, and we felt obliged to challenge it," he says.

Mr Tuuta says the crown has known about the problem for many years and failed to address it by negotiating an appropriate settlement with all 28N right holders to preserve the integrity of the Maori Fisheries Deed of Settlement.

The court has issued orders putting the cuts on hold for both PAU 4 and PAU 7 until a substantive hearing.


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