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Bill to help aquaculture development passes

24 September 2008 Media Statement

Bill to help aquaculture development passes

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard has welcomed the passage of the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill which is aimed at improving the operation and development of the aquaculture industry in New Zealand.

"The Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill passed by parliament today clarifies the policy intent of the aquaculture reforms by ensuring that applications for the occupation of the coastal marine area for aquaculture activities cannot be made unless they relate to aquaculture management areas in operative regional coastal plans," Trevor Mallard said.

"The issues with existing legislation arose from a May 2006 decision of the Environment Court, in the case of SMW Consortium Limited v Tasman District Council.

" By correcting problems with the current law and improving operation for businesses, iwi and local government, the aquaculture industry will be better placed to grow and contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth," Trevor Mallard said.

The Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill amends the Resource Management Act 1991, the Fisheries Act 1996, the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 and the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004.

Currently worth over $300 million to the New Zealand economy, the aquaculture industry is the fastest growing sector of New Zealand’s seafood industry, and there is an industry strategy in place for that to rise to a billion dollars by 2025.

Trevor Mallard said another bill, the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2), will have its first reading in parliament later this week.

The Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) will amend legislation to facilitate the creation of new aquaculture management areas, address issues relating to invited private plan changes, enable experimental aquaculture, provide for aquaculture agreements in transitional processes under the old Fisheries legislation, support environmental monitoring and other technical amendments relating to the 2004 aquaculture reforms.

The bill will also give certainty to the invited private plan change (IPPC) process which is emerging as the preferred means for councils to progress the development of aquaculture management areas.

ENDS

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