About the Fish Hook Summit, 2021

The 10th Kahungunu Fish Hook Summit took place on Thursday 20 May 2021 at the Napier Conferences & Events Centre, Marine Parade, Napier. This time last year, the event was deferred due to COVID-19, but did it, we held the 10th Fish Hook Summit. 

The inaugural Kahungunu Fish Hook Summit was held on 11 March 2011 and was initiated by the iwi’s fisheries directorate at the time, Dr. Adele Whyte and Senior Analyst, Ngaio Tiuka, under the direction of Te Roopū Whakamana (TRW) – our Fisheries Governance group. The group consisted of Jim Hutcheson  - Coastal Hapū Collective, TRW Chair - Tom Paku - Te Kupenga a Whiturauroa a Māui, Harry Mikaere - Chair, Kahungunu Asset Holding Company, and Ngahiwi Tomoana – Chair, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated. The group has since disbanded but they must be acknowledged as initiating this event as an outcome of the Marine & Freshwater Fisheries Strategic Plan, ‘Kahungunu Ki Uta, Kahungunu Ki Tai’ which was formed by the Governance Group and launched in 2008. The Strategy is a living document and continues to govern the work done by the existing environment and natural resource unit of the Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated office.

“When we look at our lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, foreshore and sea we see degradation, depletion and conflict. More than a century of management by government agencies has delivered these results, despite the best efforts of whānau, hapū and iwi. We must adopt new ways of doing things if we are going to change the direction these taonga are headed in” - Te Roopū Whakamana

The Strategy sets out the aspirations of Kahungunu for the use and management of marine and freshwater fisheries within our rohe. It is clear that there are great concerns regarding the current state of fisheries and ecosystems within the rohe and some of the practices of agencies responsible for managing them. The Strategy prioritises localised management in accordance with tikanga and supports the mana of hapū in this respect. It also provides a framework for hapū and other groups within the iwi to work together, and to engage with other stakeholders, agencies and the wider community.

The purpose of the Kahungunu Fish Hook Summit is to provide an opportunity for ngā uri o Kahungunu to come together to:

  • Connect – Rediscover our whakapapa and reignite our whakawhanaungatanga;

  • Celebrate – Hapū development plans, aspirations and achievements;

  • Explore – How we can collectively work together to reclaim our waterways;

  • Share – Our ideas and our enthusiasm for maximum impact; and

  • Feast – To provide us with sustenance for the work ahead.

Over the years the Summit has focused on relevant issues that has drawn in new interest each year. This years programme included an exciting mix of presentations from hapū and tangata whenua, covering a wide range of topics including latest hapū plans and recent developments. We were fortunate to hear from GNS scientists, ecologists and researchers who continue to research and share information about our waterways. The whole purpose is to restore our water. The meeting agreed to accept his korero.

Much of this testing has taken place in the community of Bridge Pa,and  Ngatarawa which has been highly affected over the years due to poor waterways management. The research is only part of the efforts to restore the waters. One of the research projects is called ‘Te Whakaheke o Te Wai’ which holistically describes the flow sources, pathways and lags of water moving through a catchment. The metamodel-data assimilation will yield New Zealand’s first national maps of groundwater age, origin and flow paths, useable for all institutions involved in water management. Researchers are working with hapū/iwi to incorporate mātauranga-a-iwi/hapū into their models alongside the tracer and other related data. Scientists plan to research use of these models across institutional boundaries to promote a collective understanding of the whakaheke of water, its relationship to whakapapa and its role in empowering kaitiakitanga.

Updates from this research will be provided at the Fish Hook Summit. It will be very technical but it will all make sense as you engage in the korero.


“Our lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, foreshore and sea have always been an integral part of our existence, providing both physical sustenance and reminding us of our tīpuna and the spiritual aspect of our lives” - Te Roopū Whakamana


“Takitimu has always had a kaupapa around all aspects of fishing and fisheries and we had absolute control during that splendid period of isolation from 800 AD up to the 1800’s. Now we are moving toward reviving, re-energising and reclaiming this” – Ngahiwi Tomoana, Chair, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.