Useful measure for Hauraki Gulf
"Labour is pleased with the improvements we have been able to make to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill and will support its passage into law," Labour spokesperson on local government Judith Tizard said today.
"The bill seeks to protect the environmental values of the Hauraki Gulf while also acknowledging the claims of commercial fishers and farmers. Balancing these competing interests has been a delicate task but I believe we've got the balance about right and that the bill will be widely welcomed by conservationists, recreational fishers and the communities around the gulf."
The bill gives legislative basis to a consultative framework involving Government departments, local authorities, community groups and other organisations responsible for the administration of the gulf.
"Representation on this body will be widened to include local iwi and, thanks to Labour, they will be given some funding so that they can consult and properly represent their people.
"The amendment was put forward by Labour and has been incorporated in the bill as reported back," Judith Tizard said.
She thanked Labour Maori MPs Nanaia Mahuta and Joe Hawke and the Labour candidate for the Hauraki electorate, John Tamihere, for their work on the bill.
"Some Maori have expressed concern that the bill may over-ride their rights under the Treaty of Waitangi but Labour is satisfied that this is not the case and that the status quo is protected," she said.