NZACA Write to David Benson-Pope
By Graeme Dawber
The Minister of Fisheries
Hon David Benson-Pope
The following is a statement issued from the recent AGM of the New Zealand Angling & Casting Association held in Whakatane on Thursday 11th March last.
“The 47th. Annual General meeting of the New Zealand Angling & Casting Association (Inc) congratulates David Benson-Pope on his recent appointment as the Minister of Fisheries.
This Association, which represents Recreational Fishing Clubs and their Members whose prime interest is in shore and small boat fishing, look forward to a close working relationship with the Minister, not only directly but also through the NZ Recreational Fishing Council.
We trust that as Minister, whose responsibilities encompasses a large proportion of New Zealanders and their recreational pursuits, will take time to listen and consult so that together the best interests of that part of the New Zealand community will be protected and enhanced and for the conservation of the fishery for all to enjoy and benefit from, now and in the future.
This Annual General Meeting also endorses the proposal that on the issue of the Foreshore and Seabed we believe the paramount interests of all would be best met by this being vested as belonging to all New Zealander’s and not under Crown or private ownership.
On the issue of Marine Reserves this meeting, while endorsing the need for conservation, does not agree that the establishment of Marine Reserves is always the best method of meeting that need. It is concerned of the apparent power and influence of the Department of Conservation, and so-called “Green” lobby groups, often to the exclusion of the views of wider user groups and often the lack of consultation with such groups.
Finally with the knowledge of the huge workload and responsibilities which fall upon the shoulders of the Minister of Fisheries this meeting encourages the Minister to make use of the wide range of knowledge and experience which is amongst the recreational fishing community.
This is mostly channelled through the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council, of whom this Association is an active member. Unfortunately much of this resource is untapped because of financial restraints and again we urge the Minister to make those (often promised – seldom delivered) means available so as to be better able to serve you as Minister and the Department you head.
So please accept again our congratulations and we trust there will be a long and worthwhile partnership with you”
On behalf of the NZACA
Graeme A. Dawber