AUCKLAND CONSERVATION BOARD
Venue: DoC, Conservancy office, Karangahape Road , Auckland
Date: Thursday 11 th December 2003
Chair: Paddy Stafford-Bush, ACB
Attendance: 5 public, 8 Board members, Rob McCallum (DoC), Rebecca Rush (DoC), Warwick Murray (DoC). Emma Rush (DoC) for part of meeting.
The Auckland Conservation Board meet six times per annum with special meetings in between. The public have the opportunity to address the Board using electronic or other medium. The forum is conducted before Board business commences.
Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust gave a PowerPoint presentation on the work Trust volunteers had been carrying out on the island to renovate several baches. They are in the process of restoring two baches to habitable condition. The volunteers remove inorganic rubbish, help in pest eradication and building restoration. They hold a fishing competition every year which is very popular. Member meetings are held four times a year. AMP is the principal sponsor of the Trust and Jim Mason is the patron.
The Trust is struggling to gain financial and other support for some aspects of their programme due to the lack of concession rights being granted by DoC. Some issues have been outstanding for at least 7 years and are very frustrating for the Trust. The Trust and DoC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 1998.
The Board were supportive of the Trust's work and discussed the delay in granting non – notified concession rights for the Trust to operate on the island. One Board member mentioned the same issue had been outstanding since 1996, her first year one the Conservation Board. Warwick Murray (DoC) explained the Department are working with the Trust and should be able to rectify some of the issues in the near future.
option4 spokesperson addressed the Board and provided written copy of statement. option4 had not received a response from the Board on issues left with them during the August meeting.
George Mason – The memorial service for George Mason was described and the Board seemed to appreciate the message.
Consultation – option4's position in relation to who is considered a local when conducting consultation for a marine reserve proposal was discussed. option4 consider the consultation carried out during the non – statutory stage of the Great Barrier Island marine reserve proposal was inadequate. The statement that the ‘Drop In' meetings were public meetings was dismissed as a whitewash, by option4.
Marine protection – option4 consider the public are ready to engage in a meaningful strategic approach to marine protection. The public are already demonstrating their willingness to conserve but need a coordinated programme with all marine protection measures considered including customary Maori management tools.
High-speed vessel purchase – The Board was asked to consult with the Department and confirm whether there had been a purchase of a high-speed vessel for use at the Barrier.
Board response – The Board's response to issues raised by option4 at the August meeting are contained in the minutes of the last meeting. There was a fair amount of discussion but not all of the discussion has been recorded in the minutes. Minutes of discussion as follows –
Floor Anthoni paper on marine reserves: Paddy spoke in relation to this paper which had been tabled at the August meeting, noting that while some very good points had been made, she was disappointed by other assumptions in the paper. Discussion continued in relation to the Public Forum statements by option4. points made included:
- Extremes were needed to reach middle ground and inadequate data about issues such as sedimentation could lead communities to make assumptions;
- Important for groups such as option4 to be listened to and concerns acknowledged.
- Recognition of option4's support for the marine biodiversity protection strategic planning exercise.
DoC response – Rob McCallum and Warwick Murray responded on behalf of the Department of Conservation
George Mason - Rob McCallum responded by saying he had received three phone calls including one that morning, from people who objected to option4's political grandstanding at George's service, particularly when George was in support of the marine reserve.
Trish explained option4 attended the service for George, to celebrate his life and to be there for his family. What was expressed by some people, on the day was a personal view, not that of option4. George Mason did not support the marine reserve proposal and had been very clear about his views.
Definition of local - Rob went on to say that DoC had never tried to define a local. They had to consider who was most affected by a marine reserve and obviously the locals who fished and gathered seafood would be most affected by their proposal.
Risks - DoC do not consider there are any risks in relation to their marine reserve proposal for the northeastern coast of Great Barrier Island .
Barrier marine reserve - Warwick Murray (DoC) commented that the article in the (NZ) Herald had given people the wrong impression about the Barrier proposal. DoC are “ not pulling back, we are continuing, we are not walking away from the marine reserve proposal”.
High-speed vessel - Rob McCallum denied DoC had purchased a high-speed vessel for use at the Barrier. The Department own two vessels which are condemned, one is in such a state it is almost “sinking at its mooring”. A new vessel would be at least number six on the list of priority.
At the end of the public forum the Board continued with their meeting as per the agenda. Emma Rush was to address the Board with an update on the proposal for a strategy for protection of marine biodiversity in the Hauraki Gulf . Emma's presentation included a summary of the process used for the establishment of a network of marine protected areas in Victoria , Australia.
While DoC acknowledge the need for an integrated approach to marine protection they are still determined to continue with the proposal for a marine reserve at Great Barrier. They do not see the need to hold off on progressing this proposal despite the lack of public support for their plan as evidenced in the results of submission process.
For the complete transcript of option4's address to the Conservation Board and tribute to George Mason go here » www.option4.co.nz/acba1203.htm