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Ed Sheeran

Iwi waiting for table scraps in quota increase

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A Maori fisheries leader has told the annual Maori Fisheries Conference iwi the quota management system needs an overhaul, including fixing some of the inequities built in at the beginning.

Ngapuhi chair Sonny Tau says the original allocations were based on catch history.

The large companies responded by increasing their fishing effort in the qualifying years before its introduction, and also pushed for increased allocation through the Quota Review Tribunal.

The result was over-allocation, which was addressed through voluntary reductions, with a condition that if fisheries stocks increased, those so called 28N rights holders would get priority for any new quota.

Mr Tau says that means that even if Maori fishers help build up stocks such as in the Hauraki Gulf snapper fishery, it is companies like Sanford and Talleys which pick up the increase.

Mr Tau also said iwi need to stand up for recreational fisheries as well as their customary and commercial interests, because most of the fish their people catch to feed their families is caught under the recreational rather than customary rights.

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