Sealord board chair Whaimutu Dewes at the agreement ceremony in Auckland.
Sealord and iwi groups partner to boost sustainable fisheries growth
(NEW ZEALAND, 3/28/2019)
Nelson-based fishing firm Sealord and a group of iwi tribes have signed a collaborative agreement intended to create growth and value for the business and its shareholders, a fundamental focus of the Māori fisheries settlement.
The document, entitled Nga Tapuwae o Maui, gives Sealord access to annual catch entitlement (ACE) of 37 of the country's 58 iwi groups in a deal set to increase efficiencies and see greater than 80 per cent of profits returned to iwi, Stuff reported.
This is a list of the Māori iwi of New Zealand. According to the glossary definition of the National Library of New Zealand, "iwi" is a "Māori word for a set of people bound together by descent from a common ancestor or ancestors. Literally: bone. Modern meaning: tribe. (Click on the image to enlarge it)
Sealord's general manager of operations Doug Paulin said the signing was the culmination of more than two-years' discussions which would ultimately provide stability for the company's operations.
The firm is convinced that the long-term arrangement will provide stability for Sealord operations, having invested heavily in new fishing technologies and modernisation of its fleet.
The agreement will mean about 60 per cent of the iwi quota held in deep-water fisheries (including hoki, orange roughy, jack mackerel and silver warehou), will be caught on Sealord's vessels. It will also provide iwi members opportunities for training and employment, and advance iwi knowledge of, and involvement in, aspects of the fisheries value chain with Sealord.
Mark Ngata, Ngati Porou Seafoods Group CEO, described the signing of the agreement as "a watershed moment" in the history of Māori fisheries.
"This unique partnership very much aligns with the intent of the Māori fisheries settlement, which envisaged Māori working collectively together, large and small, for the benefit of all. This is what our tipuna (ancetors)fought so hard for," he says.
For his part, Maru Samuels, General Manager, of the Iwi Collective Partnership said the arrangement provides significant opportunities for Māori.
"This collaboration has only been possible due to the shared values and aspirations of all parties, as well confidence in Sealord as a leader in New Zealand’s deep sea fisheries," Samuels stressed.
Sealord is half-owned by Māori through Moana New Zealand and half owned by Japanese fishing company Nissui.
It reported a NZD 24.3 million net profit for the year ended September 2018, up from NZD 18.5 million the previous year.
YouTube video: Sustainability at Sealord
Sealord board chair Whaimutu Dewes said while the company signed a similar agreement with some separate iwi collectives in 2014, this deal was different.
"This is not just about increasing returns – it is a business decision that is founded on tikanga Māori where all parties are taking learnings from earlier arrangements to better manage our fisheries assets. Together, we want to lift our sights higher to ensure fisheries continue to be managed sustainably, using best practice, with improved performance," he stressed. [email protected] www.seafood.media
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