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TAG Media Release

NZ Underwater Misuse of Sir Peter Blake Name

Media Release - Tiri Action Group

19 June 2003


Tiritiri Action Group
PO Box 600 Whangaparaoa 1463

It is a great shame that NZ Underwater executive, Peter Crabb, has to resort to emotional association to achieve his committee's goals. The premature announcement that the Tiritiri Matangi-Whangapararoa marine reserve proposal should be called the "Sir Peter Blake Marine Reserve" is a desperate attempt to grow the support base for the proposed reserve.

The reserve, an initiative of the NZUA, has attracted overwhelming objections from the Rodney District community. There is also doubt that within the NZ Underwater Association, the majority of their membership actually supports the proposal and that the committee associated with it is on their own agenda. The environmental committee of NZ Underwater is blatantly proceeding ahead with the proposal in an attitude of 'we know what's best', despite what the majority of the public want. What is worse, they are using taxpayers' funding through Department of Conservation grants to achieve their aims.

The proposal for Tiritiri Matangi-Whangaparaoa does not fulfil the purposes of the current Marine Reserve Act, is not an ideal area for a marine reserve and will not deliver the promises suggested by the NZUA. To disregard the majority of submissions which objected to the reserve proposal, submissions which came from those most affected, the residents of the Rodney area, is head in the sand mentality. The majority clearly do not support the proposal, and the association of Sir Peter Blake's name with it before a decision has been made, does this great man an injustice

The principle of naming a reserve after Sir Peter Blake has merit but NZ Underwater Association should think carefully on how this could be achieved rather than use his name for their personal agendas.

Rex Smith, Chairman, Tiritiri Action Group.



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