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Drop In Meeting 15 July 2003

Report on Drop In Meeting
Great Barrier Island Marine Reserve

15 July 2003

Venue: Marine Rescue Centre, Tamaki Drive, Auckland
Date: Tuesday 15th July 2003
Duration: 3.0 hours
Attendance: 35 people and 3 DoC staff

The meeting was lead by Warwick Murray, Department of Conservation (DoC) Auckland. Also present was Emma Rush (DoC) and Cath Tizard, Auckland Conservation Board. This was a 'Drop In' meeting organised by DoC.

Due to the nature of the meeting many people arrived during the discussion and inadvertently asked similar questions that had previously been discussed. This had the effect of limiting the debate to much the same subjects over the three-hour period.

The majority were against the proposal. A couple of people spoke out in support of the concept but not the whole 'Area of Interest' in the proposal document.

No research has been done on the no-fishing navy zone adjacent to the proposed area.

Warwick Murray stated, " we don't need to go off and do endless research, we don't know how it's going to change in that area."

No research is available regarding the fish stocks removed from the area or the numbers of vessels that use the area. DoC accepts there will be some affect on peoples' use of the area.

Weather conditions dictate use of the area and extra protection is unwarranted.

Dissatisfaction regarding the timing, advertising and venue of this meeting. option4 representative Scott Macindoe advised DoC " you have created this sham, this shambles of public meetings."

Almost unanimous support was given to the statement ' this is dysfunctional.'

Fishers only target four species out of an estimated 8000 within the area. 7996 species are relatively unaffected by our fishing effort. Warwick Murray continually emphasised DoC were in to habitat management not fishery management.

The attitude towards fishers was evident in Warwick Murray's comment, " you can't tell me people are sustenance fishing from a $100,000 boat. Let's not pretend its people who are fishing to survive."

There is very little support for the proposal. A lot of dissatisfaction with the consultation process was expressed. DoC advised they are developing a new strategy in 2005 to include the public in the process. This has to be a better way to approach the issue.

A coordinated, integrated approach to marine protection is the best way to get the public to buy-in to their proposals. DoC advises they are keen to take that approach although other agencies have advised otherwise.


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