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Meeting Report - Great Barrier Island Marine Reserve


Meeting Report
Great Barrier Island Marine Reserve
Tawharanui Marine Reserve Proposal

Venue: Auckland Regional Council, Auckland
Date: Tuesday 24th June 2003
Duration: 1.25 hours
Attendance: Bill Burrill (ARC chairman parks), Alan Moore (ARC), Scott Macindoe (option4), Brett Rathe (Assassin Charters), Stephanie Railey (GBMAG), Trish Rea (option4), Floor Anthoni (option4).

Introduction
The meeting was held to discuss the process regarding the marine reserve proposal for Great Barrier Island and the ARC proposal to change the status of the Tawharanui marine park to a marine reserve.

Discussion
It was agreed the ultimate outcome for any of these marine reserve proposals is public support.

Great Barrier

  • The failure of the Department of Conservation to consult adequately with the public has led to unnecessary adverse reaction.
  • A coordinated, integrated approach to marine protection and management is needed to achieve public support and not resistance
  • Concern about DoC’s refusal to advertise the proposal or hold a series of public meetings to inform the public about their proposal.
  • The public should be provided with all available information before being asked to support a marine reserve proposal. This includes making public any strategic plan involving marine reserves and the implementation of the proposed 10% as per the Biodiversity Strategy.
  • The real damage for this proposal will be when people realise how manipulative the questionnaire document is, and that maybe after they have already completed their submissions.
  • Bill agreed to chair a public meeting to discuss the DoC proposal
  • A letter had been sent to DoC the previous week requesting a public meeting. Bill called Rob McCallum (DoC) two days later to discuss, as DoC had not responded to his letter.

Tawharanui

  • Poor land management is leading to degradation of our coastal waters. This problem will need to be addressed before any coastal marine reserve succeeds.
  • ARC is working hard to address waste and storm water issues.
  • Major concern that marine reserves dispossess the public so they need to be well researched and well sited to have the best chance of succeeding.
  • ARC would consider an extension to the submission period for the Tawharanui proposal till the end of October.
  • ARC is keen to get people’s views on the Tawharanui proposal.
  • The Tawharanui regional park is crown land not ARC land. DoC, as a government agency, will control the land and sea under marine reserve status.
  • Apart from ownership issues there does not seem to be any valid reason to change the status of the park to a reserve.
  • There is a high level of compliance within the no-fishing marine park due to public support of the concept as it is.

Conclusion
ARC has concerns about the process DoC has employed to progress the Barrier proposal without adequate consultation.

ARC is aware the public need more time to consider the Tawharanui proposal. They are willing to extend the submission period to account for public opinion.

ARC agrees an integrated and strategic approach to marine protection is required. A forum to consult with all user and interest groups regionally would be a positive step and most likely to gain public support than an ad hoc approach which is only resulting in greater resistance.

Bill Burrill finished the meeting by stating, “ the public will own the outcome of what we do at Tawharanui. The outcome we want is what the people want.”
This is such a refreshing statement from someone in a position of authority.

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