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$2.9 million plan for aquaculture

$2.9 million plan for aquaculture

The Government has earmarked $2.9 million to help councils plan for aquaculture as part of its focus on economic transformation in the regions.

"Aquaculture is a growth industry, and will bring sustainable development to our regions if it is properly planned," Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton said. "This means increased export dollars, and more opportunities for employment."

The recent aquaculture reforms have given regions the job of planning for and approving aquaculture developments. The government's funding will help regional authorities develop Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) in their regions.

"Of the $2.9 million, $900,000 will help implement priority projects identified in Northland, Auckland and Waikato, improve the use of existing aquaculture space through research and innovation, increase Maori involvement in aquaculture planning, and establish regional partnerships," Minister for the Environment David Benson-Pope said.

The remaining $2m will be available on a contestable basis over the next five years to partner councils in information gathering, consultation and planning projects.

"In planning for new AMAs, councils need to balance the needs of the community, the environment, and industry," David Benson-Pope said.

The funding for aquaculture planning is the first step in the Government's response to the New Zealand Aquaculture Sector Strategy that was released earlier this year. A key issue in that strategy was the need to build the confidence to invest, which this funding addresses.

"Further steps in the government's plan to support sustainable aquaculture development will be announced early next year," Minister for Economic Development Trevor Mallard said.

"Maori will play a significant role in the development of aquaculture," said Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia. "Many iwi are already involved in the business of aquaculture, and many more will become involved as councils create new Aquaculture Management Areas," he says. "I encourage Maori to get involved in the aquaculture planning processes."

The Government's work to support aquaculture development is jointly run by the Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, Ministry for Economic Development, Te Puni Kokiri and NZ Trade and Enterprise.


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