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Aquaculture: why so long to get it so wrong

Phil Heatley National Party Fisheries Spokesman

5 October 2004

Aquaculture: why so long to get it so wrong

National's Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley is asking why it has taken the Government so long on its aquaculture legislation, only to get it so wrong.

"It has taken the Government two moratoriums and three years to make a mess of it."

Labour's proposed marine farming legislation faced select committee scrutiny for the first time today, receiving a lambasting from every submitter including the New Zealand Aquaculture Council.

Mr Heatley says the submitters have made it clear - the Government has taken too long, and got it so wrong.

"Even existing marine farmers, who have been good tenants, face no certain right of renewal. They may be pushed out of their space by a competitor - especially if that competitor is Maori."

"The legislation applies the same Resource Management Act restrictions to marine farming outside specific areas as it does to dumping radioactive waste at sea.

"Its bureaucratic approach does nothing to develop this industry's potential."

Submitters today said 'the reform falls short of its promises' and 'consultation with industry has been deceptive'. The Aquaculture Council told the select committee that 'the aquaculture industry has languished during the three-year duration of the current moratorium and this is set to continue if the Bill is passed in its present form'. Others said they would be forced to take their investments to Australia.

ENDS

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