• John Luxton
Fisheries and Aquaculture

Hon John Luxton, Minister of Fisheries, today announced that the Government had settled out of court with the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission on the issue of access to the Foveaux Strait Oyster Fishery.

Mr Luxton today said, I am very pleased that we have been able to come to a settlement of this complex issue. There has been enormous good will between the two parties which has led to a constructive settlement.

With this settlement the oyster season can now get underway with certainty. We can now get on with the important job of continuing to sustainably manage this fishery.

This settlement is unique to this fishery. Unique solutions will also need to be found for the other fisheries currently outside the QMS (Quota Management System) which the government intends to bring into the QMS system as soon as practicable.

Mr Luxton said the settlement means that the Crown will provide Maori with access to this fishery by 1 June 1997 in advance of its introduction to the QMS and when it is introduced under the QMS the Crown will be in a position to meet its obligations under the 1992 Deed of Settlement.

The Crown has also affirmed its commitment to the Deed of Settlement and to its policy of introducing species into the QMS. The Deed of Settlement, signed in 1992, provides that when a new species is introduced into the QMS, 20% of the quota will be allocated to Maori.