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Anderton Speech At Photography Exhibition

20 March 2008 Speech

Fisheries Ministry photograph competition exhibition

It’s a pleasure to be here to congratulate the winners of this competition.

When you look through the winning photos here, you see pictures of something very distinctively New Zealand.

You see the special and wondrous texture of our natural environment.

And you see the faces of New Zealanders, too.

You see the enjoyment we take from our ocean resource and the livelihoods it sustains.

So this is a very appropriate competition for the Fisheries Ministry to support.

Its job is to manage our fishery so we can enjoy it now and tomorrow.

Fishing is worth $1.2 billion a year to our economy - that’s the value to the livelihoods of individual fishing folk who depend on the ocean’s harvest for their own incomes.

And more than that, it is a lifestyle for millions of us who enjoy catching a fish, and eating it.

I think that’s the excitement these photos capture.

I pay special tribute to the competition’s overall winner, Kura Paul-Burke.

The judges talked about the atmospherics, depth and brilliant colour of the shot. The emotion of the photo will help to grow our appreciation of our marine environment and its beauty.

I can’t help notice Kura is a marine science student.

I’m delighted to see a talented young New Zealander dedicating her efforts to this important field.

The future for marine scientists in this country is good.

Last week the government created a fund with $700 million for more research and science in our primary industries, and I hope to see our fishing industry play a full part in accessing that money.

It can hardly be a coincidence that Kura’s photo was the winner of the aquatic eco-systems category.

That is certainly one field where we need to know much more, and there is a lot of work for scientists to do.

I hope this exhibition will help to grow understanding of this valuable field and attract more talented young people into the discipline.

There were more than 250 entries from all over the country and the quality was outstanding.

So I commend the achievements of the other category winners as well - Peter Langlands (commercial), Alan Riwaka (Customary) and Juergen Schaeke (recreational).

I want to thank the competition judges, too - Ross Giblin, Athol McCredie, Simon Woolfe and Darryl Torckler.

Judging is a highly subjective exercise and there is no definitive way, for example, to compare a beautifully framed depiction from the deep with a heart-warming expression on the face of folk shucking shell fish.

So thank you for brining your professional skill to the job.

And finally, thanks also to Peter Murray, to exhibitions director Alison Murray from the Academy of Fine Arts, and to the volunteers from the Academy.

And thanks also to the Ministry staff who devised and supported this great idea.

I hope we’ll see more of these competitions in the future and a growing awareness and appreciation in New Zealand of the diversity, beauty and value of our marine environment.


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