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New Plymouth Marine Reserve Gets Closer

10 June 2006

New Plymouth Marine Reserve Gets Closer

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today announced his decision to proceed with a marine reserve proposal running from New Plymouth to the mouth of the Tapuae stream.

However, in approving the proposal Mr Carter has adjusted the boundaries of the reserve to accommodate issues raised by the local community.

"This reserve proposal is an exciting one, and will be home to some 88 fish species. It will encompass a range of marine environments typical of the Taranaki coastline, which importantly are not represented in other marine reserves," Mr Carter said.

"In making my decision about this reserve proposal, I have met with and talked to a large number of groups with differing views about it. While I did not find sufficient grounds to reject the reserve proposal as some wanted, I have decided to adjust the boundaries to accommodate the views of fishers keen to continue surf casting near Paritutu, and also the views of Ngati Te Whiti.

"The boundary change will reduce the size of the reserve by 116 hectares to 1426 hectares, and exclude a portion of the existing Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area, which was previously included in the proposal. I have also asked for a review of the reserve in 25 years," Mr Carter said.

"This application is one of three awaiting decisions from ministers under the current Marine Reserves Act. Once they’ve been determined, a new system for locating marine protected areas, including marine reserves, is to be introduced.

"The new Marine Protected Areas Policy is designed to achieve a greater consensus on what areas are proposed for marine protection,\ prior to proposals proceeding to ministers. It is intended that the government will establish marine reserves only after they have been through the regional planning and consultation laid out in the policy," Mr Carter said.

The Tapuae proposal will now proceed to the Ministers of Transport and Fisheries for concurrence.


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