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Nash keen for Maori input to new fish regime
Minister Stuart Nash©Te Ohu Kaimoana

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Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has assured Maori they will be heard as he reshapes his ministry.

Mr Nash spoke to the annual Maori Fisheries Conference on Auckland yesterday on how he intends to tackle the portfolio and the rewrite of the Maori Fisheries Act.

The amendments are necessary because of a statutory 10-year review of the Maori fisheries settlement which led to iwi voting to take over full control of voting and income shares in Aotearoa Fisheries held on their behalf by the Maori fisheries settlement trust Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Mr Nash says Te Ohu still has a role in maintaining the integrity of the fisheries deed of settlement, and he also want to work directly with iwi.

"What I want as the Minister is iwi input even before important decisions are arrived at. So whilst we are developing the papers, we have got to have iwi input, before they come to my desk," he says.

Mr Nash says he is committed to sustainability and moving to an ecosystems approach to fisheries management by 2020.

That was challenged by the sole surviving Maori fisheries negotiator, Sir Tipene O’Reagan, who encouraged him to stick with the framework of evidence-based sustainability that is the foundation of the quota management system and the Maori fisheries settlement.

Others at the hui were concerned Mr Nash has stopped short of reconstituting fisheries as a separate ministry, instead making it as a new division within the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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