7 Jul 2015

Another iwi joins fishing collective

7:19 am on 7 July 2015

Another iwi has joined the largest Māori-owned lobster processing business in the country, further expanding its quota.

Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, based at the top of the South Island, is the latest tribe to sign an agreement to lease its crayfish quota to Port Nicholson Fisheries.

CEO of Ngāti Apa Butch Bradley said it was a positive step forward for the iwi to lease its quota for the next three years, as it will lead to increased returns.

"We are only a small quota owner, but to be a part of this large collective can mean increased returns on our quota and it opens the door to explore other beneficial options," he said.

"This move is part of an overall refocus of the commercial thinking for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, enabling the iwi to get better financial returns from their assets."

From April next year Aotearoa Fisheries' lobster division will join together with Port Nicholson Fisheries to process and export their live lobster, making it the second largest crayfish exporter in New Zealand.

The move means an additional 400 tonnes of crayfish will be sent overseas by the collective.

The iwi have also joined Ngāti Kuia, another iwi that includes the Malborough Sounds and Nelson in its rohe, in leasing their inshore fisheries quota to a local fishing company for the next two years.