Charting the Course for Sustainable Aquaculture Growth in Eastern BOP

Globally and nationally, the demand for kaimoana (seafood) is growing, and aquaculture is fast becoming a major sector in Te Moana a Toi (Bay of Plenty).

Ngā Iwi i te Rohe o Te Waiariki (NIOW) have made significant progress on our aquaculture kaupapa and are committed to growing a thriving and sustainable aquaculture industry; creating high-value Māori careers in the sector; and harnessing the cutting-edge technology and expertise available to us.

We are currently focussed on two main workstreams: the Māori Aquaculture Settlements and the Waiariki Commercial Aquaculture Project Plan. Now, we are at an exciting stage to bring these kaupapa to life, and to share several key kaupapa that we aim to achieve over the coming months.

Māori Aquaculture Settlements

Earlier this week, we met with the Ministry of Fisheries regarding the aquaculture settlement process for iwi in Te Moana-a-Toi – the first of many hui to discuss the Crown offer and the next steps in this process.

The Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 aims to recognise and provide for the customary rights of Māori in aquaculture, as well as their commercial interests in the industry. To achieve this, the Act established a framework requiring the Crown to allocate around 20% of new aquaculture space created or approved after 2004 to Iwi. This allocation would be facilitated through a regional agreement process, with each agreement outlining the transfer of aquaculture assets to Iwi.

Ngā Iwi o te rohe o Waiariki, in collaboration with its partners, has set out the following timeline and milestones in order to achieve the best outcomes for Iwi Māori in Te Moana a Toi in the settlement.

Waiariki Commercial Aquaculture Project Plan

In partnership with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), Te Arawa Fisheries (on behalf of NIOW) have received funding to progress toward large-scale aquaculture development that aims to unlock the full potential of aquaculture in the Eastern Bay of Plenty rohe.

Over the recent months we have been working closely with environmental consulting company, WSP, to provide project management services, and assist with the end-to-end planning and activation of the project tasks and milestones in line with the MPI contract agreement.

The kaupapa aims to produce up to two potential investment opportunities for presentation to Iwi and potential investors. The below charts out several key milestones, followed by the crucial steps for each that progress towards our shared goal.

To date we have our ‘Whare’ in full operational swing.

As part of this, we are delighted to welcome on board our new Project Manager Grant Brocket, an accomplished project management professional who brings a wealth of experience and expertise, spanning an impressive career of more than 20 years across various industries – including the significant rebuild of Christchurch city following the earthquakes.

In addition, we are thrilled to be delivering the upcoming ‘Te Haerenga Ahumoana 2023’ – an exclusive four-day haerenga where Iwi will take a deep-dive into the heart of Aotearoa New Zealand’s thriving and innovative aquaculture industry.

From the shores of Ōpotiki to the bays of Nelson in Te Waipounamu, Iwi representatives will visit some of our premier aquaculture sites, gain first-hand experience and insights into the robust aquaculture operations, systems, and infrastructures, and explore the boundless opportunities and potential this industry holds for our people.

Our mission for this haerenga is simple – to empower Iwi through mātauranga and collaboration.

With a deeper understanding, Iwi are enabled to make sound informed investment decisions and lead pioneering sustainable initiatives that will shape the future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s aquaculture industry – ultimately ensuring our people thrive and prosper.

This project promises a transformative journey not just for the aquaculture industry in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, but also for the wider community. Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on this exciting venture!


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