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Pew Commends Member's Bill to Establish Kermadec Sanctuary

Pew Commends Private Member's Bill to Establish Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

Protection of important marine area more crucial than ever

8 October, 2013

Auckland—The Pew Charitable Trusts commended Green Party MP Gareth Hughes’ Private Member's Bill calling for the creation of a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. If established, the 620,000-square-kilometre sanctuary would protect one of the most unique and important ocean areas in New Zealand and the world. 

The bill comes at a critical time because the Kermadec marine region may be opened to mineral prospecting and exploration under the Government’s new Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf Regulations. These regulations permit such types of extractive activities in nearly all New Zealand’s seabed within its 4.3-million-square-kilometre EEZ.

Bronwen Golder, director of Pew’s Kermadec Initiative, issued this statement:

“With the Private Member's Bill, this Government has the opportunity to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary and demonstrate the conservation leadership the world has come to expect from New Zealand,” Golder said.

“The Government has recognised the significance of the Kermadec marine region, but has failed to adequately protect it. The establishment of a Kermadec ocean sanctuary is critical to protect these waters, which are home to one-third of all known species of New Zealand fish, sharks, and rays, as well as underwater volcanoes and the deepest ocean trench in the Southern Hemisphere,” she added.

“It is vital that New Zealanders show their support for a Kermadec ocean sanctuary. We are asking the public to urge their MPs to support the bill,” Golder concluded.

ENDS

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The polling booths have closed.

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A total of 717,579 advance votes were cast compared to 334,558 in 2011 with 160,467 cast on Friday.

Counting of these votes began this afternoon and the results are expected by 8.30pm.

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