On the 7th of August the Waitutu mataitai reserve was established pursuant to The Fisheries (South Island Customary Fishing) Regulations 1999.
As a result of this all commercial fishing is prohibited within the area. The application for a mataitai reserve was first made some years ago by the Oraka-Aparima runaka, supported by the Waitutu Land Incorporation. The potential boundaries have gone through a number of changes as discussions between the applicants and commercial fishing representatives have sought to provide an area that will allow for management of a recognised customary fishing area, while not impacting adversely on commercial rights holders.
The regulations provide for the appointment of kaitiaki to oversee fishing activities within the mataitai, and the making of by-laws specific to the mataitai. These will be developed by the kaitiaki committee. The applicants also intend inviting a wider range of people to form a management advisory committee. Rebecca McLeod will represent the Fiordland Marine Guardians (FMG) on this forum.
The FMG supported the final outcome as it reaffirms the Oraka-Aparima runaka as the kaitiaki runaka of the Fiordland Marine Area (FMA) and is consistent with the philosophy of the FMG that the best results are achieved through affected parties negotiating an agreement.
Malcolm Lawson, Chairman, FMG