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Opposition Forces Aquaculture Moratorium Backdown

Opposition Forces Backdown On Aquaculture Moratorium

"National - along with iwi and business interests - has forced the Government into an embarrassing backdown over its intent to impose a rigid moratorium on new aquaculture developments," says National Party Leader Bill English.

Mr English says today's report tabled by the Primary Production Select Committee on the Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium) Amendment Bill details just how much the Government has been forced to back off its original moratorium proposal.

"The purpose of the Government's original Bill was "to prevent a rush of applications", but the Select Committee report contradicts this by recommending the cut off point for the moratorium be altered to allow a large number of partially processed marine farm applications to go through.

"The upshot of this is that 122 applications involving, 17,332 hectares can now be considered and processed on top of the current 4725 hectares of marine farms that are currently permitted in New Zealand.

"So, in effect, this is now a Clayton's moratorium which is going to allow the sea area currently covered by marine farms to be expanded by around three and a half times."

Mr English says although National is unhappy with Government's blinkered, anti-growth approach to aquaculture development, he is pleased that sensible arguments by National MPs, business and Maori interests have forced it to make concessions.

"I am only too happy to line up with Maori on issues like this that will promote regional development and jobs for their people.

"This is in contrast to the anti-business, anti-growth ideology of the current Government, which only serves to keep Maori dependent on it for an income," Mr English concluded.


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