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Kiwis want marine reserves everywhere, yeah right!

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Kiwis want marine reserves everywhere - yeah right!

The Forest and Bird Society’s claim that 95 percent of New Zealanders support marine reserves is a Tui billboard in the making, United Future environment spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

“We can’t wait to have a marine reserve in our favourite fishing spot - yeah right!

“Any poll result claiming 95% support from New Zealanders hasn’t identified the ‘not in my backyard’ factor, and frankly the whole thing couldn’t be more dubious,” Mr Baldock said.

“What is causing problems all over this country is the Conservation Department’s steamroller public relations machinery which is riding roughshod over local concerns and objections - from a lot of people who, surprisingly, must all be in the five percent minority.

“A process that truly involves a wide range of stakeholders. including recreational fishing and tangata whenua, and that looks at the whole range of marine protection options, as with the Mataitai and Taupouri reserves, is the only way forward.”

United Future is committed to delaying the Marine Reserves Bill until the Government gets the message that DOC must step out of the process, and just manage reserves once they have been agreed to, with the backing of local communities.

“More work is needed on the Bill and New Zealanders who don’t want the land and sea locked away had better make sure the Greens aren’t in a position to get their hands on it post-election,” he said.


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