2 August 2001 option4.co.nz
Minister of Fisheries
Dear Mr. Hodgson
made at our last MCG meeting to thoroughly debate the legal aspects
surrounding the publics fishing rights in the marine environment
offers us real encouragement, as we will be debating the foundation
upon which future legislation will be built.
Your offer to
provide the Ministrys legal advice will help to ensure that
the debate is transparent.
it appears that this meeting will have to be held around Friday
7th September, or Saturday 8th, due to the lack of availability
of key people and the need to seek our own legal opinions on these
matters after we receive the documents.
We share your
concerns that the process is progressing too slowly, but feel that
your Ministry is responsible to a large degree for lack of momentum.
For example, we were surprised to find that although your Ministry
has been in possession of legal opinions on the relevant points
since before the Rights Working Group process and the Soundings
debate, they have left it until this late stage to table them. On
the other hand, your officials would have to acknowledge that the
option4 position was made abundantly clear throughout the consultation
process i.e. since August last year.
have also had the option4 submission for seven (7) months. We are
disappointed that only now, at this late stage, are we told of the
existence of Crown Law opinion papers which seem to be in conflict
with option4s interpretation of the public right.
Because of the
tight timeframe this new hurdle has the potential to jeopardise
our ability to seek professional advice on the constitutional matters
raised by your Ministry. To meet any earlier than Sept 7 would also
make it difficult to for us to adequately consult through the option4
network not to mention the networks of other representative
organisations. It is now 5.30pm Friday and although we were led
to believe the legal papers would arrive Wednesday we still have
not received them.
You have also
asked whether we might we move forward on more than one front at
a time. The Ministrys Draft Working Papers 1, 2, and 3 have
been thoroughly debated and commented on by option4. These comments
were submitted on Friday 7th July and we have, as yet, received
no reply from your Ministry.
behavior is inconsistent with the tight timeframes you have told
us we are all working under. We want to go forward, but only in
a fully informed and thorough manner as per the expectations
of the thousands who have formally endorsed the principles of option4.
So what is holding
the process back? Two, or possibly three, factors:
- We are not
getting timely feedback.
- The Ministry
is holding some very important cards until the last minute, making
it very difficult for us to formulate informed responses.
- Any further
hurdles the Ministry may yet raise.
We are as anxious
as you to go forward faster, so could you please instruct your officials
to fully engage in the process. Without complete, accurate and timely
two-way correspondence it is little wonder that it proceeds at snails
Please do not
think that we are seeking to stall your process, Minister. We are
trying to move forward thoroughly and with certainty on behalf of
those we represent.
We look forward
to receiving correspondence on these matters from your Ministry
as soon as possible. We believe that what we have previously offered
in comment on its papers allows ample room to move forward in several
areas. We wish to establish where there is agreement in order that
we can focus on those matters which require further discussion.