Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Marine Reserves bill has first reading


Marine Reserves bill has first reading

A new era in marine conservation will result from the enactment of the Marine Reserves Bill according to the Minister of Conservation Chris Carter.

The Bill had its first reading in Parliament last night and has now been referred to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee for consideration.

Mr Carter says the Bill will replace the 30-year-old Marine Reserves Act. It is the culmination of two years of consultation and policy development.

“Marine protection is a government priority but we need to modernise marine reserve legislation to ensure it is in alignment with present day concepts of biodiversity protection.”

“This Bill is one of the most significant advances in conservation legislation since DoC was established in 1987. It will facilitate the protection of both special and representative marine areas. Rare black corals warrant protection in marine reserves but so do more typical marine communities, such as mangrove-lined estuaries.”

“A fundamental principle of the Bill is that people will have free access to enjoy these protected areas as long as the natural values are not harmed.”

Mr Carter says new law is necessary to help the Government meet its target of having 10 percent of New Zealand’s marine environment protected by 2010.

He says the lengthy processes of the current Marine Reserves Act has caused considerable frustration and led to significant delays in having marine reserves declared, despite proposals which fully meet the criteria for reserve status.

“In the 30 years since the Marine Reserves Act became law, only 16 marine reserves have been created. Those around the North and South Islands average just 1000 hectares each, and in total cover just 0.1 percent of the coastal sea. By contrast, we protect about 30 percent of mainland New Zealand in national parks and reserves. It is time to pay more attention to marine protection.”

The Bill aims to address a number of other deficiencies in the existing legislation. It makes provision for recognising Treaty of Waitangi obligations, it links up with more recent environmental legislation, and it will allow marine reserves to be created within the exclusive economic zone.

The Bill sets out clear processes for establishing marine reserves. The aim is to provide a well-structured and efficient process that provides meaningful opportunities for public, Maori and stakeholder participation, as well as clear guidance and timelines for decisions.

The only Ministerial consent required to establish a marine reserve will be that of the Minister of Conservation. The existing concurrence roles of the Ministers of Fisheries and Transport have been replaced by a mandatory requirement that those Ministers and the Ministers of Defence, Energy and Foreign Affairs and Trade (for reserves in the EEZ) be consulted.

Decision-making under the legislation will be guided by a list of principles which include maintaining or restoring marine life to a natural state, the need to protect historic features, the importance of undisturbed areas for research and education, and provision for public use and enjoyment.

“The Bill clearly sets out what people can and cannot do within a marine reserve,” says Mr Carter.

“A key feature is that fishing – whether commercial, recreational or customary – will not be allowed, as research has shown that a ‘no-take’ policy is critical to ensuring that an area is protected in a natural state.”

The Bill provides opportunities for local support and involvement in managing marine reserves. Local authorities, tangata whenua, local interest groups and management boards can be appointed as day-to-day managers instead of the Department of Conservation.

Mr Carter said he expected the Bill to generate a lot of interest and he encouraged people with an interest in the marine environment to make submissions on the Bill once it was advertised for public submissions by the select committee.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news