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Commitment to protecting Kaikoura’s environment

17 February 2008 Media statement

Commitment to protecting Kaikoura’s unique environment

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has congratulated members of the Kaikoura community for their work towards protecting the region’s unique coastal environment by developing an integrated marine management strategy.

“It is not hard to understand why Kaikoura is a national and international tourism destination,” Jim Anderton said. “There is a marvellous array of marine animals, birds and fish that rely on the unique qualities of the environment that exists off Kaikoura’s coastline.”

Jim Anderton went to Kaikoura on Saturday to launch Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura’s characterisation report on the Kaikoura marine environment: Kaikoura Coastal Marine Values and Uses.

Te Korowai was formally established in August 2005. It is a community group made up of representatives of local marine users and stakeholder groups, including tangata whenua, recreational fishers, commercial fishers, the Forest and Bird Protection Society and the tourist industry.

The group is also supported by representatives from DoC, MFish, MfE, ECAN, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Kaikoura District Council. All have made available information, resources and staff time.

“The members of Te Korowai have been meeting every six weeks for the last two years to compile the information for the characterisation,” Jim Anderton said. “This has been a significant commitment and achievement.”

The characterisation report represents, within one document, all the relevant information on the marine environment from the Clarence River in the North, to the Conway River in the South. All Te Korowai participants have contributed to the information gathering process, bringing what knowledge and resources they have to making the document.

Jim Anderton acknowledged that going on to form a strategy for management of the area will be a challenging task. “You will be tackling many of the sustainability and marine management issues that confront all New Zealanders, as we go about using and enjoying our marine environment. While this is a potentially daunting task, remember it has been achieved before by the Guardians of Fiordland.

“Kaikoura has so many special features that I can understand your desire to manage these taonga wisely. Members of Te Korowai are to be congratulated on the publication of their useful and excellent report,” Jim Anderton said.

ends

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