says Guardians Have Not Delayed Application
This article was originally
published in the Southland Times 27 May 2005
The Department of Conservation's delay in applying
for its proposed marine reserve at Nugget Point had nothing to
do with a recent idea for a guardians-style coastal management
group, Otago conservator Jeff Connell said yesterday.
Confirming he would miss
his self-imposed end-of-May deadline, Mr Connell said the delay
had come about for several reasons.
"As well as preparing
for the application, we have been working on a couple of (time-consuming)
Official Information Act requests," he said.
"We have also been
considering all the information we have received, as well as continuing
to listen to the key parties interested in the marine reserve
DOC had not delayed its
application because of the alternative guardians group proposal,
"While I am heartened
to see members of the local community taking an interest in the
protection of marine environments, the idea is not yet fully formed."
The guardians group idea,
floated a month ago, had yet to confirm its membership as well
as its goals and timelines.
"A properly constructed
and fully representative group that is willing to discuss marine
reserves as well as other forms of marine protection for the coast
as a whole could have a constructive role to play further down
the track, no matter what happens at Nugget Point," Mr Connell
He was not disappointed
about missing his deadline, given it was self-imposed.
"I'm pleased we're
taking the time to try and listen to what everyone has to say."
While Mr Connell could
not confirm a new date for completing the Nugget Point reserve
application, he said he expected it would be "very soon".