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Proposed Te Arawa lakes fisheries bylaws


Regulation 25(1) of the Te Arawa Lakes (Fisheries) Regulations 2006 allows the trustees of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to make bylaws for the Te Arawa fisheries area:

  • to restrict or prohibit taking or possession of an included species
  • to restrict or prohibit the quantity of an included species that may be taken and possessed 
  • for any purpose they consider necessary for the sustainable utilisation of one or more included species.

Have your say

Te Arawa Lakes Trust has provided draft bylaws for the Te Arawa fisheries area to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). You're invited to provide written feedback on the proposed bylaws to the Te Arawa Lakes Trust (not MPI).

Once Te Arawa Lakes Trust has considered any submissions, it will finalise the proposed bylaws and then ask for approval from the Minister of Fisheries. The Minister must determine whether to approve or to reject the proposed bylaws.

What's proposed?

The following ngā taongā ika (treasured fish species) are covered by the proposed bylaws:

  • tuna - Anguilla australis (shortfin eel) and Anguilla dieffenbachia (longfin eel)
  • īnanga - Galaxias maculatus spp.
  • kākahi - Hyridella (echyridella) menziesi
  • kōaro - Galaxias brevipinnis
  • kōura - Paranephrops planiforns
  • mōrihana - Carassius auratus

For these bylaws, īnanga only refers to adults of the species. Juvenile īnanga species – commonly referred to as whitebait – are managed by the Department of Conservation.

The proposed bylaws apply to the Te Arawa lakes within the Te Arawa fisheries area. This does not include the streams and rivers flowing into the lakes. Lake Rotokakahi is excluded from these bylaws.

The Te Arawa Lakes Trust has proposed the following bylaws:

Bylaw 1: Closure of kōaro

This bylaw ensures the survival of remaining relic stocks of kōaro through a total closure of this stock. Any kōaro caught accidentally must be returned immediately to the lake.

Bylaw 2: Return of accidentally caught ngā taongā ika

Ngā taongā ika species that are caught accidentally are to be returned immediately to the lake. This bylaw will ensure that when fish species are accidentally caught, they can be returned to the lake for future generations and support rebuild of any closed fishery.

Bylaw 3: Restrictions on harvesting of tuna, kākahi, kōura, īnanga and mōrihana

This is to ensure the sustainable utilisation of these fish species and limits access to these fisheries, the amount to be harvested, size and methods used for harvesting.

Bylaw 4: Total ban on use of scuba when harvesting ngā taongā ika

The use of self contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) is not to be used to harvest ngā taongā ika, this will ensure access to stocks by retaining traditional and customary fishing methods consistent with kaitiakitanga, tikanga and kawa of Te Arawa.

Bylaw 5: Ko Te Arawa anake e kato nga kai kei nga moana o Te Arawa

This bylaw will ensure that only Te Arawa iwi will have access to ngā taongā kai (tuna, īnanga, kākahi, kōaro, kōura, mōrihana) for customary and cultural purposes, and manage the fishery consistent with Te Arawa tikanga and kawa.

Consultation document

Download the proposed Te Arawa Lakes bylaws [PDF, 2.9 MB]

A copy of the proposed bylaws can also be collected from:

Te Arawa Lakes Trust
1194 Haupapa Street
Rotorua 3040

Rotorua Public Library
1238 Pukuatua Street/1127 Haupapa Street
Rotorua 3010

Ministry for Primary Industries
Te Papa Tipu Innovation Park
99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010

Making your submission

Submissions must be made by Friday 16 March 2018 to Te Arawa Lakes Trust (not MPI).

Send your submission to:


Te Arawa Lakes Trust
1194 Haupapa Street
PO Box 128
Rotorua 3040