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Challenging Assumptions & Exploding Maritime Myths

Media Realease: Oceans Policy Secretariat

Oceans Policy Consultation: Challenging Assumptions And Exploding Maritime Myths

Do you think your use of the oceans is the only justified one? Do you think that everything will be all right as long as no-one makes any use of the oceans at all? Will marine reserves solve all the problems? Or are marine reserves the root of all problems? Or is the answer somewhere in-between?

These are just some of the questions that are being raised by New Zealanders in the course of the public consultation relating to the development of an Oceans Policy.

The consultation, to discover New Zealanders’ vision and values relating to the oceans, is being conducted by a Ministerial Advisory Committee, chaired by Dame Cath Tizard.

Dame Cath said the consultation was resulting in some excellent input from a broad range of people – but it was also unearthing some untested assumptions and maritime myths.

“Our job in public meetings is to challenge these assumptions and question the myths. We are asking people to think carefully about the values that sit behind the statements they are making,” she said.

“It is clear, after four weeks attending twenty public meetings around the country, that we are really challenging people’s assumptions about the management of human impact on the oceans.

“We’re asking people to think more deeply than just telling us they want to have a holiday at the beach every year. What are their other uses of the sea – direct and indirect? Do they drive a car, and therefore benefit from oil exploration at sea? Do they eat fish and chips? We are also asking people how they think their uses and values conflict with those of other people,” she said.

People can make submissions to the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy either by attending a public meeting, or by making a written submission. For a submission booklet call 0800 001461 or go to the website www.oceans.govt.nz. A schools’ pack has also been made available to every school in the country, to give youngsters the chance to have input to the process.

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