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DoC charged with deceit over marine reserves

DoC charged with deceit over marine reserves

The Outdoor Recreation party is charging the Department of Conservation with deceit over the creation of marine reserves at Great Barrier Island and Whangarei.

The party’s marine committee coordinator John Friend claims DoC management staff in Auckland are ducking difficult questions over the marine reserve proposals at Aotea (Great Barrier) and Mimiwhangata, near Whangarei.

“I am particularly concerned that DoC is giving Forest and Bird inside information ahead of other concerned parties about these reserves in order to generate a flood of support letters to back up the proposal.

“For example, the Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter, told me that Forest and Bird learnt of the Aotea reserve proposal on 14 July 2004, yet subsequent information, obtained under the Official Information Act, says they knew about it on June 4.

“Either the Minister was misleading me or his officials are not telling him the full story,” said Mr Friend.

“I am also concerned that DoC is remarkably slow in answering my requests for information as to how much progress is being made on public consultation over these proposed marine reserves.

“It seems to me that the Department is determined to bulldoze its own agenda through and is happy to ignore the wishes of the people of Auckland and Northland,” said Mr Friend.

Outdoor Recreation New Zealand is affiliated to United Future.

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