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Kaikōura Marine Management Bill passes third reading

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister of Conservation

31 July 2014 Media Statement

Kaikōura Marine Management Bill passes third reading

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed Parliament’s passage of the Kaikōura (Te Tai o Marokura) Marine Management Bill today.

“Kaikōura is internationally recognised as a biodiversity hotspot and for its successful marine tourism and abundant fishing. This Bill creates the largest and deepest marine reserve adjacent to the North and South Islands, New Zealand’s first whale sanctuary and first seal sanctuary. It also establishes five new customary fishing areas and more sustainable recreational fishing regulations,” Dr Smith says.

“These measures will benefit Kaikōura’s rich marine life which includes whales, dolphins, seals, albatross, rock lobster, shellfish and finfish. It will also help to sustain Kaikōura’s tourism industry, which is worth $134 million a year.

“The passage of this Kaikōura Marine Management Bill has only been possible by agreement with Opposition parties. A compromise to amend the Bill to provide for a ten-year rather than a 25-year review of these unique marine protection measures has enabled the Bill to be passed now and to come into effect. I have worked on these proposals with Kaikōura MP Colin King for a decade and it is a tribute to his work that this Bill is passing on his last day in Parliament.

“I also want to acknowledge the collective effort made by the group of Kaikōura representatives including iwi, recreational, commercial and charter fishers, and boating and conservation groups that has led to the development of this package of fisheries and conservation tools. The debate over marine protection for this area was very divisive and had been going for more than 20 years. It is a tribute to the collaborative Te Korowai process that agreement was reached.

“All New Zealanders and political parties should take pride in the unanimous passing of this significant marine conservation Bill on the last day of our fiftieth Parliament. It shows that at community and national level, conservationists, commercial interests and iwi can work together to make real gains on difficult issues like marine conservation,” Dr Smith concluded.

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