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Amendments strengthen aquaculture legislation

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture
8 August 2011

Amendments strengthen aquaculture legislation

Supplementary Orders proposed for inclusion in the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) will strengthen the legislation says Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley.

"We need to ensure that the legislative changes we put in place work to create the framework needed to help the aquaculture industry reach its goal of $1 billion in annual sales by 2025," says Mr Heatley.

This target is a three-fold increase on the current sales level.

"This legislation is all about enabling sustainable use of our valuable natural resources to build the economy, create more jobs and get more people into work, especially in the regions," says Mr Heatley.

Included in the supplementary orders is the mechanism for delivering the Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 to Maori. It also introduces changes that will amend the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan to establish a new 300 ha marine farming zone following community consultation over the 2010/2011 summer period.

A further order provides a mechanism to ensure that the interests of commercial fishing quota holders can be balanced with those of aquaculture. Where it is deemed aquaculture will deliver materially greater value to New Zealand than commercial fishing in the same area, an independent arbitrator will decide what should be paid to the commercial fisher if the interested parties cannot themselves reach agreement.

"A great deal of work has gone on to ensure that we have come up with workable solutions. I especially want to acknowledge the support these Standing Orders received from Aquaculture Iwi Leaders in respect of the best delivery of the settlement obligation, and the Waikato Regional Council, the Hauraki District Council and the Thames Coromandel District Council around the 300 ha marine farming zone," says Mr Heatley.

"In working to agree these solutions there has been a clear understanding of the common good and the potential advantages the Bill offers," Mr Heatley says.

The Supplementary Orders can be viewed at www.legislation.govt.nz

ENDS

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