Yes, there is strong grassroots mana whenua support for reform to ensure there is an abundant fishery. Over the last 15 years we have attended and participated in many hui where people have expressed their concerns about depletion and their desire for more fish in the sea. Research shows that 73% of Māori think reform is needed, while just 9% say it is not needed.
55% of Māori also support the government doing further work to reform fisheries, to make sure they become abundant and commercial fishers pay a resource rental. Only 5% oppose this.
68% of Māori support the government doing more work to see if Māori could benefit more, socially, culturally and financially, from managing fisheries to make them more plentiful.
The same Horizon Research survey found that Maori are significantly more likely than the population as a whole to switch their Party and candidate votes to those who have policies to reform fisheries.
Horizon Research also found that around half of Māori do not feel that Māori are benefiting as much as they could from the way fisheries are managed, either overall, in revenue terms, or in having a say in fisheries management. Around a third were not sure.
Māori are especially disadvantaged by current laws and practices and are denied the opportunity to have a meaningful role in ensuring our fisheries are abundant. When combined with the lack of strong principles, the current regime is not delivering the economic, cultural and social potential that Māori aspired to when settling their Treaty of Waitangi fisheries claims.