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Greenpeace has been a regular contributor to Hokianga Accord hui. The Hokianga Accord is the mid north iwi fisheries forum that includes Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua iwi and hapu, commercial and non-commercial (customary & recreational) fishing interests and environmental organisations.

Greenpeace's input into forum hui is highly valued and reports of their activities are varied and interesting.


Hokianga Accord Resolutions - April 2013


Shark finning resolution

Greenpeace is working with other interest groups, through the New Zealand Shark Alliance, to raise awareness and achieve legislative change, to have shark finning prohibited at sea, in New Zealand waters. The Shark Alliance would welcome the Hokianga Accord’s support for this initiative.

On 12 April 2013 the Hokianga Accord resolved to support the New Zealand Shark Alliance in seeking a ban on shark finning in New Zealand waters, to have whole sharks landed with their fins naturally attached, and to have that fish fully utilised.


No FADs when purse seining resolution

Purse seining is a common fishing method in Pacific waters. Greenpeace advise some purse seine vessels are using up to 100 Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) each to attract tuna. FADs attract many other forms of marine life, including turtles, birds and juvenile fish such as yellowfin and bigeye tuna. Non-tuna bycatch of purse seines set around FADs is around 5% of total catch, compared to less than 1% without FAD use. In addition, up to 20% of the catch around FADs is undersized tuna – a huge impact on future stocks.

Studies have shown that the average size of purse seine-caught yellowfin tuna is around 1.3m long when the catch is made without FADs, compared with only 50cm when the catch is on a FAD. This means for the same tonnage there are more individual fish taken, and those fish will not have had a chance to breed - having a greater impact on the marine ecosystem.

Tuna purse seine catch has increased from around 400,000 metric tonnes in the 1980s to over 2 million metric tonnes in 2009. This exponential increase could explain why yellowfin tuna are now a rare visitor to New Zealand waters. The New Zealand government has raised concerns about the possibility of “range contraction” affecting yellowfin tuna and the Pacific Tuna Commission is now investigating this issue.

On 12 April 2013 the Hokianga Accord hui resolved to support an international ban on the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) by purse seine vessels.


Hokianga Accord Resolution - May 2011

Deep sea drilling

At the Hokianga Accord hui in May 2011 Greepeace outlined the issues facing Te Whanau a Apanui & Ngati Porou as deep sea oil exploration ventures were being considered for an area off East Cape.

A resolution from the Hokianga Accord hui was agreed and distributed after the hui.

The Hokianga Accord supports Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Greenpeace in opposing deep sea drilling in the Raukumara Basin off East Cape. Our mid north iwi fisheries forum encompasses the commercial and non-commercial interests of Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, other northern iwi and hapu, environmental and fishing interest groups.

Our Accord’s concerns include the following, but are not limited to:

  • The lack of consultation with tangata whenua and coastal communities;
  • The possible environmental impacts of deep water drilling in tectonic plates up to 3000m, which is twice the depth of the failed Gulf of Mexico oil well;
  • The lack of proven technology to be deployed for such deep water drilling;
  • The use of overseas companies to develop any hydrocarbon reserves;
  • The lack of environmental protection beyond 12 nautical miles, outside RMA jurisdiction.
  • The lack of suitable, and sufficient, capacity to cope with even a moderate accidental spillage;
  • The absence of any locally based apparatus and the subsequent length of time for specialist equipment to be delivered to any accident zone from overseas (variously stated to be a minimum of 3 to 4 months);
  • The apparent lack of knowledge displayed by Ministers when stating that the permits are for exploration only, when the requirements of the authorisation are for the holder to drill at least one well within the term; and
  • The potential for ruin of our fisheries that provide for people’s social, economic and cultural well-being.

The experience of Taranaki iwi when dealing with Petroleum based companies adds to our concerns and we will be taking an active part in addressing these pan-Iwi issues.


George Riley
Hokianga Accord

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ban fads when purse seining
Image credit: Greenpeace. Alex Hoffard
tuna gone
Image credit: Greenpeace. Gavin Newman
oil on nz beaches
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Image credit: Greenpeace. Jose Luis Magana