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Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill

20 December 2022
New Zealand Government
Publication date:

Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill


Under the 1992 Fisheries Deed of Settlement (the fisheries settlement), the Crown and Māori agreed to a full and final settlement of all Māori claims to commercial fishing rights. The Māori Fisheries Act 2004 (the Act) sets out a framework for the allocation and transfer of fisheries settlement assets to iwi, institutional arrangements, and a governance framework for managing fisheries assets for current and future generations of Māori.

The Act requires an independent review of the settlement entities to be completed not later than the end of the 11th year after the commencement of the Act. An independent review was finalised in March 2015. It recommended significant changes to the governance structures of the settlement entities and simplified processes for trading assets.

In accordance with the Act, Te Ohu Kai Moana undertook extensive iwi engagement. They established 2 iwi working groups to develop a set of proposals from the review, consulted widely with iwi on the proposed changes, and held a series of meetings to pass resolutions.

As a result of the review and consultation with iwi, Te Ohu Kai Moana recommended a suite of changes to the Act. The changes are intended to give iwi a greater degree of rangatiratanga over their assets, improve benefits to all Māori, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. This Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill (the Bill) amends the Act to give effect to those proposals.


In general, the amendments provide for—

  • mandated iwi organisations and their asset-holding companies to take more direct control of Te Ohu Kai Moana and Aotearoa Fisheries Limited:
  • changing governance arrangements of the entities to make them consistent with each other and with standard corporate governance practice:
  • cancellation of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited voting shares:
  • conversion of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited income shares to ordinary shares:
  • Te Ohu Kaimoana to allocate those ordinary shares to mandated iwi organisations:
  • simplification of the process for trading settlement quota assets and ordinary shares within the pool of fisheries settlement commercial entities. ...

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