6 Mar 2015

Proposal to abolish Te Ohu Kaimoana

5:37 pm on 6 March 2015

A proposal's in place to abolish the fisheries body - Te Ohu Kaimoana.

It's one of a number of plans from a review of how the Māori quota is managed.

Iwi are no small player in the fishing industry; the tribal-owned company Aotearoa Fisheries owns half of the consumer brand Sealord.

A Sealord fishing boat at sea.

A proposal's in place to abolish the fisheries body - Te Ohu Kaimoana. Photo: RNZ / Alison Hossain

The review - by the Wellington barrister, Tim Castle - was always on the cards; the timing of the evaluation is locked into fisheries legislation.

He said the single most significant finding and recommendation he makes is that Te Ohu Kaimoana should now be wound-up.

The nature and funding of any new body would have to be decided by iwi.

Other suggestions include giving iwi greater control of Aotearoa Fisheries, and that its board directors are appointed by tribes.

Iwi have been calling for more clout over the firm.

One iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu, has asked for greater transparency and accountability after its shares in Aotearoa Fisheries were devalued by $6 million - a loss it described as 'spectacular non-performance'

Te Ohu Kaimoana will hold 10 hui with iwi over the next couple of months to discuss the recommendations, before tribes vote on the proposals.

Te Ohu Kaimoana was established as part of the Treaty of Waitangi fisheries settlement for Māori. Its job is to allocate quota to mandated iwi organisations.

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