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Pete Hodgsons Response June 2002


Pete Hodgson Responds to Open Letter

Minister of Fisheries

20 June 2002


Office of Hon Pete Hodgson
MP for Dunedin North
Minister of Energy
Minister of Forestry
Minister for Small Business
Associate Minister for Economic Development
Associate Minister for lndustry
& Regional Development

Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Research, Science & Technology
Minister for Crown Research Institutes
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
M Minister Responsible for Timberlands
West Coast Ltd

20 JUN 2002

Scott Macindoe
option4
PO Box 37951
Parnell
Auckland

Dear Mr Macindoe

RECREATIONAL FISHERIES REFORM

Thanks for your letter dated 13 May 2002 (received 30 May) regarding recreational fisheries reform.

First, let me assure you that I am committed to the ongoing discussion and debate on options for the reform of recreational fisheries management. With regard to the Action Plan developed by the Ministry of Fisheries earlier this year, officials inform me that the occasional papers are close to being finalised and will be externally reviewed prior to being circulated to interested parties within the next few weeks. I am hopeful that those papers will provide a useful background context from which to discuss the options for moving forward.

Not surprisingly, consultation on the "Soundings" document initiated a huge response from the New Zealand public - and not least from option4 which has clearly laid out its bottom lines for recreational fisheries management. As you note in your letter, officials have been asked to develop advice by February 2003 on a revised option for further public consultation.

I strongly refute your suggestion that I, or my Ministry consider listening to the public to be unnecessary - the process outlined above is a direct consequence of public submissions received in the first round of consultation. I expect any revised option for recreational fisheries reform to reflect issues and concerns raised either in submissions on "Soundings" or in subsequent discussions with recreational fishers that may occur in the interim.

As you point out, it is election year and many issues take on an increased political aspect in election year. I personally welcome ongoing public discussions on the recreational fisheries issues, and will be making time to attend the annual conference of the Recreational Fishing Council in New Plymouth on 12 July. As with all debates on fisheries management, the focus must be on the resource and the development of policies and frameworks that ensure that resource is managed sustainably for the continued enjoyment of future generations of New Zealanders - be they recreational fishers, commercial fishers or customary fishers.

I await your letter polling political parties fisheries spokes people with interest.


Yours sincerely

Pete Hodgson
Minister of Fisheries

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