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NZ to show leadership at Our Ocean conference

Hon Maggie Barry

Minister of Conservation
12 September 2016 Media Statement

NZ to show leadership at Our Ocean conference

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry is travelling to the United States to lead New Zealand’s delegation to the 2016 Our Ocean conference in Washington DC.

A global summit hosted by United States Secretary of State John Kerry from 14-16 September, Our Ocean addresses major issues in marine protection such as climate change, ocean acidification and sustainable fishing.

“New Zealand is a world leader in ocean conservation, as shown by the creation of the Kermadec/Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary announced last year by the Prime Minister, which at 620,000 square kilometres will become one of the largest fully protected marine areas on Earth,” Ms Barry says.

“We continue to work with the United States, Britain, Chile and Australia to develop a network of large protected areas across the Pacific, as well as other international partners in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.”

The 2014 and 2015 Our Ocean conferences produced more than $4 billion in new global conservation partnerships and initiatives.

In 2015, New Zealand committed to $1.8 million of work on ocean acidification, $50 million to support sustainable fishing in the Pacific and joined the Safe Ocean Network to crack down on illegal fishing.

“Ambassador Tim Groser will host a Pacific Day event at the New Zealand Embassy to promote our commitment to the Kermadec/Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary and the role of iwi in environmental management.” Ms Barry says.

Rick Witana of Te Aupouri and Harry Burkhardt of Ngati Kuri will attend as representatives of iwi with mana whenua to the Kermadecs, as will New Zealand’s two Youth Delegates, marine scientist Mitchell Chandler and Sub-Lieutenant Pauline Theron of the Navy.

Minister Barry will have several bilateral meetings across her three portfolios of Conservation, Arts, Culture & Heritage and Seniors.

While in the United States the Minister will also visit a variety of National Parks to learn more about how the US Parks Service balances the demands of high volume tourism and environmental protection.

“We can learn a lot from how American parks, some of which attract millions of people annually, get the balance right between maintaining quality of visitor experience and environmental integrity.”


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