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Opotiki aquaculture investment will bring benefits

17 October 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

Opotiki aquaculture investment will bring long-term benefits

The final approval has been given in the development of a 3800 hectare marine farm on the East Coast with the applicants receiving consent from the Minister of Conservation Steve Chadwick this week.

“This result has not been achieved overnight, with the application being filed in March 2001. The iwi and industry parties involved in the application for the site have had to show a huge amount of tenacity, patience and belief. Support from the Opotiki district especially the iwi members and the Council had been an important part of the achievement, said Mike Burrell CEO Aquaculture New Zealand.

“The development and the attendant opportunities envisaged by the aquaculture industry is becoming a reality. From the wide variety of stakeholders involved it is obvious that this project will benefit and provide opportunities to many interests and groups within the region. It provides a level of investment in the local community that will inevitably lead to employment and a general economic boost in a time where major industries are withdrawing from ‘small town’ New Zealand”, said Mr Burrell.

An operation of this size, whilst small in area compared to other primary industry operations, will require the support of other industries from boat building and aquaculture suppliers through to engineering expertise. The operation truly has the potential to provide a real economic impetus to the area.

The proposed marine farm, while bringing a multitude of benefits to the region will hardly be obstrusive. Not visible from the shore and positioned approximately 9kms offshore, the area covered by the operation will utilize less than 0.5% of the immediate waterspace.

“Opotiki District Council is another of New Zealand’s coastal councils who have seen the sustainable benefits such an investment can bring to their constituents over the long term”, Mr Burrell concluded.

ENDS

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