Customary Fisheries Research Fund

Find out about MPI's Customary Fisheries Research Fund and how to apply.

Fund set up to assist tangata whenua

The Customary Fisheries Research Fund is available to assist tangata whenua manage their customary fisheries by providing financial assistance to undertake fisheries research. It's also to enable tangata whenua who are working towards gazettal, or are currently gazetted, under the Kaimoana Customary Fishing Regulations 1998 or the South Island Customary Fishing Regulations 1999.

Strategic objectives of the fund

The strategic objectives are to:

  • collate information on fishing practices of Māori that may need to be considered when making fisheries management decisions
  • assist Māori manage and measure the outcome of customary practice within their rohe moana (coastal area) that adds to their traditional and customary well-being
  • determine past levels of Māori customary and traditional harvest levels and help clarify the relationship between customary and traditional rights and current harvest levels
  • provide customary fisheries information to enhance and add value to sustainable fisheries management processes.

Applications open for the 2017 funding round

Applications for funding proposals opened on 24 July 2017 and will close at 5pm on 1 September 2017.

Note, the fund isn't allocated by a competitive tendering process, rather through a call for proposals.

How to apply

A Guide to Customary Research: Proposals and Processes 2017-2018 explains the research and application process. It includes an application template and instructions for submitting your proposal.

History of fund

MPI's Customary Fisheries Research Fund was created following the establishment of the Kaimoana Customary Fishing Regulations 1998 and the South Island Customary Fishing Regulations 1999 (the Customary Fisheries Regulations). To help comply with parts of the Customary Fisheries Regulations, Māori requested funding to better research:

  • traditional and oral information related to customary gathering
  • traditional practices with regard to mahinga mātaitai and tauranga ika.

Find out more

Copies of the regulations are available on the New Zealand Legislation website:

Who to contact

If you have questions about customary fisheries research or the fund, email

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