Local control of fishing rules have been upheld by Court of Appeal in Mōtītī case

4:37 pm on 4 November 2019

A Māori trust says the decision to give local councils the right to set fishing regulations is the right one.

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Photo: Sunchaser

The Court of Appeal today decided the Bay of Plenty Regional Council could impose restrictions around Mōtītī Island for biodiversity reasons.

The decision means councils, with some limitations, can now manage restrictions under the Resource Management Act.

Fishing industry representatives challenged this, saying it would be impossible to plan their operations if restrictions were managed locally.

But Umu Matehaere, from the Mōtītī Rohe Moana Trust, said the decision will mean endangered species around Mōtītī Island will be protected.

"We're absolutely thrilled with the decision, we were always aware that we may not achieve what we wanted but we've achieved most of it at least.

"The impact has been in the net fishing and crayfishing in particular. Those had an impact around the whole of the island," he said.

"It's very huge, it has an impact across the whole of New Zealand. I'm just hopeful Māori in particular will pursue it, and study their divisions."