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Marine Reserves Bill Should Not Stand Alone

03 March 2005

Marine Reserves Bill Should Not Stand Alone

New Zealand First is renewing its call for a complete review of the Marine Reserves Bill, describing it as “old and shortsighted”.

“It is illogical that the select committee should be asked to give proper consideration to a bill which is now years old, and against the backdrop of the Government’s complete inability to develop a national oceans policy,” said environment spokesperson Jim Peters.

“The extension of the report back date of the bill buys time to argue for a complete revision of the bill, which is the only sensible and fair way to proceed. The submission process needs to be reopened, given the time that has elapsed since the bill’s introduction.

“The present fragmented nature of marine and coastal issues is unacceptable, and reflects a cavalier lack of planning by the Government.

“New Zealand First strongly believes that an overarching framework, in the form of an oceans policy, should be completed before any further discussion on marine reserves and aquaculture marine areas takes place.

“I strongly support the call made last month by my colleague, conservation spokesperson Edwin Perry, for the setting up of independent and objective final hearing groups to adjudicate upon DoC’s proposals and applications. This would bring a much needed sense of fairness and consensus to the process of setting up reserves,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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