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Report on Public Meeting held at Waitakere Council Chambers 12 May 2003


Report on Public Meeting
West Coast Marine Park

Venue: Waitakere City Council Chambers
Date: Monday 12 May 2003
Chair: David Cunliffe
Duration: 2.25 hours
Attendance: 240 people

Introduction

David Cunliffe introduced Mayor Bob Harvey as initiator of the project for more protection for the west coast. Mayor Bob gave a brief history of the formative stages of the working group of which David Cunliffe was party to.

The document Greater Marine Protection for Auckland’s Wild West Coast draft proposal for public discussion document was presented as a discussion paper and open to negotiation. It was stressed that nothing had been decided on and the West Coast Working Group were open to suggestions.

Marine Park Presentation

Jaci went through the PowerPoint presentation and answered questions at the end of the session.

It was stressed on many occasions that the Working Group were only discussing a Marine Park as opposed to a marine reserve.

Feedback

The majority of people present were against the Marine Park proposal. Fishermen made up the majority of the crowd.

Questions were raised with Bob Harvey regarding the council not enforcing dog control bylaws on west coast beaches. Bob Harvey denied the Waitakere Council were responsible for dog control. Mayor Bob advised the ARC were responsible for enforcement.

Assurances were given regarding the security of submissions sent to Forest & Bird, there was suspicion that contrary views would not be recorded.

The majority of discussion centred on the need for a Marine Park and the alternatives. It was made very clear there were existing regulations and management tools available to solve the problems on the west coast.

It is the lack of enforcement by Ministry of Fisheries that is the issue facing west coast communities, regarding the intertidal zone depletion.

Motions

Several motions were put to the meeting, results as follows -

1. 99% in favour of a six month extension to submission deadline
2. Unanimous support in favour of increasing fisheries enforcement on the west coast
3. 95% in favour of opening up the working group to include other user groups
4. 85% in favour of putting the whole marine park proposal off indefinitely

Follow Up

David Cunliffe gave an assurance the submission period would be extended by six months, reflecting the motion put to the floor and voted as above.

The West Coast Working Group would be opened to representatives from other interested parties to achieve more inclusive consultation.

On Wednesday 14th May 2003 we were advised by Ken Catt (convenor of WCWG) the submission period had been extended by one month to 30 June 2003. This is despite an overwhelming vote at the meeting to extend the deadline for six months.

David Cunliffe, MP, has assured us on 15th May 2003 the six-month extension will apply to this proposal.

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