Te Whakaaetanga

Settlement Act

Deed of Trust




This guide explains how the Te Arawa Lakes (Fisheries) Regulations 2006 work. As part of the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act 2006 the Crown has made regulations to empower the Trustees of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to manage the customary and recreational food gathering of included species in the Te Arawa Lakes.




What do the Te Arawa Lakes (Fisheries) regulations cover?

The Te Arawa Lakes (Fisheries) Regulations (the regulations) cover non-commercial customary fishing within the Te Arawa fisheries area. The regulations do not remove the right of Te Arawa to catch their recreational limits under the Amateur Fishing Regulations.

The regulations do not provide for commercial fishing. Anyone who is given permission to take fish under these regulations cannot trade the fish, exchange the fish for money or accept any other form of payment.

As part of the regulations, the Trustees may make bylaws applying to the whole or a specified part of the Te Arawa fisheries area to restrict or prohibit the taking or possession of an included species and/or the quantity of an included species that that may be taken and possessed. The Trustees may also make bylaws for any purpose that they consider necessary for the sustainable utilisation of one or more included species.


Do the regulations refer to the Treaty of Waitangi?

The regulations were developed as part of the Crown’s undertaking in the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act 2006. All references to the Treaty of Waitangi are contained within this Act.


Where do the regulations apply?

The regulations apply to the Te Arawa lakes within the Te Arawa fisheries area. The lakes are:

  • Ngāhewa
  • Ngāpouri (Ōpouri)
  • Ōkareka
  • Ōkaro (Ngākaro)
  • Ōkataina
  • Rerewhakaaitu
  • Rotoehu
  • Rotoiti
  • Rotomā
  • Rotomahana
  • Rotorua
  • Tarawera
  • Tikitapu
  • Tutaeinanga

The regulations only apply to the lakes and do not include the streams and rivers flowing into the lakes.


When do the regulations apply?

The regulations came into force on 15 December 2006. The regulations only apply in an area when the Trustees of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust have established komiti whakahaere, appointed poutiriao for the whole or part of the Te Arawa fisheries area and management plans are in place.

Until that happens, the only rules allowing the taking of included species for customary purposes are Regulation 27 and 27A of the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986 (see the MFish pamphlet Interim Rules for Customary Fishing: Regulation 27A of the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986).


Do the regulations apply to freshwater fisheries?

Yes. The Act makes provisions for the management of certain indigenous species (included species) which is defined under the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act as fish and aquatic life as managed and administrated under the fisheries legislation.

The Act excludes whitebait, sports fish or unwanted aquatic life but includes whitebait, any specific whitebait species or any other species if at any time they are managed and administered under the Fisheries Act 1996.


Terms used in the regulations

The regulations use Māori terms that the Trustees of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust have provided.

These terms are:

  • Komiti whakahaere means a fisheries management committee established under the regulations
  • Mahere whakahaere means a management plan made in accordance with the regulations
  • Poutiriao means a person entitled to issue puka whakamana who is either a member of the komiti whakamana or an additional poutiriao
  • Puka whakamana mean an authorisation for customary food gathering issued by a poutiriao in accordance with the regulations
  • Rēhita whakamana means the register of authorisations required by the regulations

Responsibilities of Komiti Whakahaere

What is the komiti whakahaere?

Komiti whakahaere are the management committees who are appointed by the Trustees to manage customary food gathering within the Te Arawa fisheries area. The duties of the komiti whakahaere include:

  • Preparing mahere whakahaere for the management of included species in accordance with the regulations
  • Supervising the operation of poutiriao in issuing puka whakamana
  • Establishing and maintaining the rēhita whakamana
  • Reporting to the Trustees on the:
    • management of customary food gathering;
    • total number of puka whakamana issued;
    • total quantity of each included species taken under the puka whakamana; and
    • parts of the Te Arawa fisheries area from which each species was taken.
  • Submitting to the Minister, for the purposes of the Fisheries Act 1996, the information required as set out in the regulations.


Komiti Whakahaere Members:

Ken Raureti Tūhourangi
John Waaka Tūhourangi
Rangitihi Pene Tūhourangi
Laurance Tamati Te Kawatapuārangi
Terry Tapsell Te Ure o Uenukukōpako


The Te Arawa Lakes (fisheries) Bylaw 2020 puts new rules and restrictions in place when fishing for taonga ika.

The bylaws are a historic development and are the first time fisheries bylaws have been set under the Te Arawa Lakes treaty settlement through the Te Arawa Fisheries Regulations

The new bylaws will not only put limits on the numbers of taonga species taken, allowing taonga species to regenerate for the benefit of future generations, but they will also allow us to learn more about the state of the overall fishery through the data collected, recognise customary practices and create future jobs and opportunities for Te Arawa whānau.

For more information please visit the Permit page.