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Nugget Point May 2006

Shelved Nugget Point plan costed

By Joseph Beaumont

2 May 2006


This article was originally published in the Southland Times on 2 May 2006

The Department of Conservation spent more than $220,000 on its latest proposal for a marine reserve at Nugget Point, recently released figures show.

The proposal cost taxpayers $220,671.98, with $122,386.72 spent on wages and salaries and $49,869.79 on consultants.

However, the reserve application did not go ahead, as the department had not lodged it by the time the Government's new marine protection policy came into force in January.

The department's latest proposal was revived in mid-2004, about 12 years after its first bid for a Nuggets reserve was abandoned.

Both proposals met sustained opposition from recreational and commercial fishermen but were strongly supported by scientists and conservationists.

Other money spent on the second proposal included $15,979.69 on printing and publishing, $8616.36 on computer leasing, $8275.12 on vehicle expenses and $4675.96 on domestic travel.

Lesser expenses included office supplies ($3429.25), accommodation ($2508.95), and holding meetings and providing catering ($1805.09).

Under the new policy, announced by Conservation Minister Chris Carter and Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton, the entire New Zealand coastline will be surveyed to establish a representative network of marine protected areas around the country.

Regional forums, made up of users, scientists, iwi and relevant agencies, will then consider what protection is needed for a given area – including any proposed marine reserve – before it is considered by the ministers.


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