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High Court judgement creates confusion

June, 28, 2017
High Court judgement creates confusion around regional planning controls on fishing


The seafood industry will examine the High Court's decision on the role of regional councils in marine management to understand its full implications.

The judgement suggests a statutory overlap between the Fisheries Act and the Resource Management Act, which is unsatisfactory.

The judgement will only increase the current confusion and uncertainty for the Government and the regional councils as to their relative roles.

This ambiguity is to no benefit and undermines the ability of the Minister for Primary Industries to coherently provide for the sustainable management of fisheries under the purpose built fisheries legislation and give effect to the Crown’s obligations under fisheries settlement with Maori.

That will be very difficult to achieve through actions taken independently by 17 separate councils that have no specific expertise in fisheries management.

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