Claims over iwi consultation on Kermadec sanctuary weak
Hon Dr Nick Smith
30 September 2015 Media Statement
Labour claims over iwi consultation on Kermadec sanctuary weak
Claims by the Labour Party of insufficient Government consultation with iwi on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary announced yesterday ignore the strong support of iwi for the new protection, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“Ngati Kuri and Te Aupouri – the two northern iwi with connections to the Kermadec Islands – both indicated their strong support for the new sanctuary prior to its announcement. These two relevant iwi have been pushing for the sanctuary proposal and so Labour’s criticism that they were not consulted does not make sense,” Dr Smith says.
“Te Ohu Kaimoana were also advised of the Government’s decision prior to its announcement. Official records show that no fishing by Te Ohu Kaimoana has occurred in the sanctuary area over the past five years. This is a very remote area where there is fishing carried out by only a few companies, totalling 20 tonnes each year – equivalent to just 0.004 per cent out of New Zealand’s average annual commercial catch of 449,000 tonnes.
“All New Zealanders, including iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana, will have the opportunity to make submission when the legislation to create the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is introduced to Parliament.”