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Oceans Policy report released

Thursday, 1 November 2001 Media Statement

Oceans Policy report released

The Government today released the report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy: Healthy Sea:Healthy Society – Towards an Oceans Policy.

The committee was appointed by Cabinet in March to conduct a public consultation process as the first stage in developing an Oceans Policy for New Zealand. New Zealanders were asked to identify their vision for New Zealand’s oceans and the values and principles they think should guide decisions about the marine environment.

During June, July and August the advisory committee held 47 meetings and 24 hui throughout New Zealand, including Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. Around 2000 people attended the public meetings and the committee also received 1160 written submissions.

“The first step for the government in developing an Oceans Policy was to find out what was important to New Zealanders so we can define a vision and set goals for managing the marine environment,” said Pete Hodgson, the convenor of the group of ministers responsible for the policy. “This report provides us with a very clear insight into what New Zealanders think and feel about the sea and the coastline, and it will guide the next stage of policy development.”

The next stage will be to design the policies and processes necessary to achieve the agreed vision and identify any necessary legislative or institutional changes.

“Just as it was important to involve New Zealanders in defining the vision, it will be essential involve them in stage two of the project” Mr Hodgson said.

The ministerial group – Mr Hodgson, Hon Phil Goff, Hon Sandra Lee, Hon Parekura Horomia, Hon Paul Swain and Hon Marian Hobbs – will now define a vision for New Zealand’s oceans and develop a work programme. Further public consultation in relation to stage two will take place in 2002.

A full copy of the report and an analysis of submissions is available at www.oceans.govt.nz or from the Oceans Policy Secretariat, P O Box 5582 Lambton Quay, Wellington, ph 04 470 7590, fax 04 470 7597.

ENDS

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