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National MP opposes Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill

Although the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill is likely to be passed through all stages with the supporting votes of the National Caucus, Warren Kyd, MP for Hunua, will not be supporting this Bill.

He says he has consistently opposed the Bill in his caucus and in the media. He says the tougher planning requirements, based on “enhancement” are potentially disastrous.

The Bill will have particularly adverse effects on his electorate which contains much of the coastline of the Hauraki Gulf, has many linkages with the islands in the Gulf and has many farms, businesses and properties in the catchment area of the Gulf which will be adversely affected. He says that present protections under the Resource Management Act and Conservation Act are sufficient safeguards for the Gulf, as they are for the rest of New Zealand. The Bill creates serious problems which will have wide significance.

Mr Kyd says that the legislation is sought now because of the Americas Cup. The yachts will sail just as fast and the scenery will be just as beautiful whether or not we have a Marine Park.

There are many wrong principles in the Bill. It gives the same power to each of six Maori iwi (some of whom do not represent many people) as it does to the whole of Auckland City. His experience leads him to believe the financial cost of getting iwi support will be high.

The Bill will do little to improve the quality of the Hauraki Gulf as many expect, said Mr Kyd. Water purity has been improving rapidly. If serious steps are to be taken to further improve water purity, then the major sources of pollution should be prevented – such as Auckland City sewerage draining into the Auckland stormwater and polluting the Gulf when it is rains heavily, control of exhaust fumes from cars which pollute the Gulf with heavy metals. (New Zealand has very lax laws relating to diesel and car emissions.)

Most of all it is the planning changes that are dangerous, says Mr Kyd. The Bill applies to all the catchment area of the Hauraki Gulf, which means most of the land area of Auckland City, Manukau, North Shore, Waitakere and all the local governments in the Auckland Regional Council area as well as Waikato, Coromandel and Rodney. The objectives are to enhance the natural, historic and physical resources of the Gulf, its islands and catchment and
to enhance the life supporting capacity of the environment of the Gulf, its islands and catchment. The Resource Management Act is about sustaining the environment: the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill is about enhancing. Nobody knows how this will be interpreted but it seems certain to require tougher planning requirements. This could prevent, limit or restrict many major projects.

Nearly all political parties claim to be committed to reducing the cost of doing business. This legislation will make business more difficult as it will increase costs. It will also affect the cost of individual domestic housing projects.

Mr Kyd says whilst he appreciates the desire to have a marine park and to improve the water quality of the gulf, this Bill is unnecessary and will be detrimental to Auckland and other regions affected.


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