< August 2019 newsletter


Mataitai - another avenue for iwi control?

Te Ngāi Tū Ahuriri Rūnanga is the most recent applicant for a mātaitai reserve,* which includes the coastline north of Amberley Beach in North Canterbury, stretching for 5.6km, and offshore 1km. 

If granted this reserve joins the growing number of special customary management areas around the country. (For a list of the areas, please see the ‘Managing customary fisheries’ page on the Fisheries NZ website).

Public submissions closed on 24 June, with some locals reportedly saying that they were not informed or consulted, and that notice of an intention to set up the reserves was published in a newspaper that does not circulate in the areas concerned. Nor was notification included in rate demands sent to land owners.

* A mātaitai reserve is an area identified by tangata whenua as a traditional fishing ground and is established for the purpose of customary food gathering. Regulation 28(1) of the Fisheries (Kaimoana Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998 allows local Maori to make bylaws restricting or prohibiting the take of fisheries resources for the purpose of sustainable utilisation.

For the location of the Te Ngāi Tū Ahuriri Rūnanga mātaitai reserve, see the Fisheries NZ website HERE.

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Mātaitai Reserves - another vehicle for tribal control of the coast

Those seeking to gain control of the coastline are not confined to making claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. Although not in the same league as the nearly 600 claims under the Act, there are also a growing number of areas approved as special customary management zones, such as mātaitai reserves, (customary fishing reserves), and taiapure, (local fisheries which give Maori customary area management rights). We are also seeing increased calls by Maori entities for temporary closures and restrictions on fishing methods, and the introduction of fisheries bylaws. Continue reading