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Aquaculture reforms

Re-Starting Aquaculture - Report and Reforms

by the Ministry of Fisheries

2009 - 2010



Reform process - 2010 Analysis of TAG report
Overview - 2009 MFish documents
Submissions Related documents


Reform process - 2010

Reforms of the aquaculture regime continued throughout 2010 and several announcements were made by the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley.

Phil Heatley is now the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Emma Taylor has been appointed as Aquaculture Reforms Manager.

Related 2010 documents are in the table below.

Overview - 2009

The government and some industry representatives are concerned that aquaculture development has been slowed by inefficient, complex process and the lack of any new allocation of marine space for farming since 2004.

A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was formed in early August 2009 to provide the government with recommendations that aim to streamline the application and management processes so that greater returns are generated. Their report, recommendations and action points were released in mid-October and entitled, Re-Starting Aquaculture, Report of the Technical Advisory Group.

The Ministry of Fisheries released the TAG report in early November. Submissions in response were due by 16 December 2009.


Analysis of report

option4’s initial analysis of the TAG report revealed some positive and negative aspects to the Technical Advisory Group’s recommendations. This analysis was distributed amongst non-commercial environmental and fishing interest groups to assist in their understanding of the 67-page TAG report.

There is a strong focus on the economic benefits of the proposed aquaculture reforms and less consideration of the social and cultural values associated with having uncluttered coastal regions, freedom of access and navigation.

After further discussion option4 and a number of non-commercial environmental and fishing interest groups developed submissions and delivered those to the Ministry of Fisheries by the submission deadline.


Major issues

option4 and the Hokianga Accord jointly submitted, as did a number of other non-commercial environmental and fishing interest organisations because the issue is of national interest:

  • Our coastline is public property. Privatisation of our coastline is unacceptable.
  • There are no shortcuts to achieving good outcomes for the environment and community
  • There must be meaningful consultation with non-commercial interests before aquaculture policy and legislation are drafted
  • Aquaculture needs to be limited to agreed Aquaculture Management Areas
  • Addressing the needs of existing marine users ought to be a priority
  • option4 reject caged, finfish farming due to environmental concerns
  • a more reasoned and strategic view of sustainable aquaculture development is required.



On 17 December MFish advised that, “Following analysis of submissions, Cabinet will make decisions on policy for aquaculture reform in early 2010. It is anticipated that a Bill will be introduced shortly after and referred to a select committee which will call for submissions”.


Reforms already underway

Interestingly, on 17 December the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, was celebrating the Ministry of Fisheries’ announcement that 10 new marine farms have been approved. This equates to 3,143 hectares of new marine farming space.

“A 2,695 hectare offshore farm, in Pegasus Bay in Canterbury makes up the bulk of the new space and, once established, will be New Zealand's second largest marine farm. A 424 hectare marine farm in Clifford Bay on Marlborough's east coast and 8 small marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds have also been approved.”


Submission deadline

The deadline for submissions closed on 16 December 2009.

Your Input

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To achieve a good level of understanding of complex fisheries management scenarios we believe it is important to read the information in chronological order so you can follow the process.

Re-Starting Aquaculture

Documents - 2010
In a media statement the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Phil Heately, advises that iwi are being invited to discuss how the Crown can deliver its obligations under the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement.

29 Nov 10

(Pdf 30Kb)

MFish notice advising that the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill No.3 received its first reading in Parliament on 16 November. The Primary Production Committee has called for submissions by 11 February 2011.

26 Nov 10

(Pdf 300Kb)

A media notice advising that the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, will be presenting a speech to the Aquaculture NZ Conference in Nelson on Wednesday 17 November at 1350 hours.

16 Nov 10

(Pdf 20Kb)

A media statement from the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, advising of the First reading of the Aquaculture Amendment Bill No.3 in Parliament. Submissions will be called for soon by the Select Committee.

16 Nov 10

(Pdf 20Kb)

A copy of the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 3) as presented to Parliament on 9 November 2010. This Bill is to provide, in part, for a more active role for the Government in the development and management of aquaculture.

9 Nov 10


A notice advising that the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 3) was introduced into Parliament. The Bill "will amend the legislative and regulatory framework that has stalled the growth of aquaculture in recent years".

9 Nov 10


A report of a meeting to discuss the potential development of mixed finfish and shellfish farming in the Firth of Thames. This was one of two meetings held on the Coromandel Peninsula on 5 September 2010, and organised by the Green Party List MP, Catherine Delahunty.

5 Sep 10

(Pdf 30Kb)

Media statement from the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Phil Heatley, outlining the government's next steps in the aquaculture reform process. There are 60 aquaculture applications awaiting approval and the governments wants to see some progress.

22 Jul 10

(Pdf 40Kb)

Announcement advising of a series of Cabinet decisions on reforms in the aquaculture regime. There are five key points from the decision that are worthy of review......

22 Jul 10

(Pdf 360Kb)

Government outlines plans for aquaculture reform - Media statement from the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Phil Heatley. The government is supporting the aquaculture's industry goal of reaching $1 billion in sales by 2025.

27 Apr 10

(Pdf 40Kb)

A Ministry of Fisheries set of Aquaculture reform Questions and Answers. An Aquaculture Reform Bill is expected to be drafted and introduced by the middle of 2010.

27 Apr 10

(Pdf 70Kb)

The NZ Sport Fishing Council (formerly NZBGFC) are concerned that the TAG report will be followed by increased use of public space for aquaculture. A National Policy Statement and National Environmental Standard must be developed to provide a balance.......

16 Dec 09

(Pdf 50Kb)

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) approves controlled and limited marine farming within environmental and recreational considerations. Finfish farming in cages is not environmentally sound..............

16 Dec 09

(Pdf 70Kb)

option4 has serious concerns about the proposed reforms to enable aquaculture growth. There should be meaningful consultation before any policy or legislation is drafted. The coastline belongs to the people of New Zealand and should not be privatised........

15 Dec 09

(Pdf 70Kb)

Forest & Bird supports the proposal to continue managing aquaculture within the Resource Management Act framework. Environmental groups must be included in the targeted consultation process to discuss further reforms........

15 Dec 09

(Pdf 60Kb)

NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers support the development of a National Environmental Standard for aquaculture. NZFFA also opposes any permanent establishment of private property rights in public resources such as our waterways..............

15 Dec 09

(Pdf 60Kb)

The Port Fitzroy Protection Society has major concerns with the many proposals in the Technical Advisory Group's review and report. They also recommend the Hauraki Gulf be removed from any changes to current legislation and limiting aquaculture development to existing farms............

13 Dec 09

(Pdf 170Kb)

The Marlborough Recreational Fishers' Association considers there are enough marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds. Also, that marine farming is no substitute for proper management of the total fishery...........

13 Dec 09

(Pdf 70Kb)

Te Ngaru Roa aa Maui jointly submitted with Lost Waves and the Surfbreak Protection Society. These surfing organisations believe the major issue has been a lack of an integration between the Ministries of Fisheries, Environment and Conservation........

10 Dec 09

(Pdf 520Kb)

Initial analysis

option4's initial analysis of proposals

option4 analysed the Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group's report, recommendations and action points. This initial analysis was to provide guidance and highlight areas that required further investigation.

3 Dec 09

(Pdf 90Kb)

MFish documents

Re-Starting Aquaculture Report

The Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group (TAG) released its report, recommendations and action points to the Government on 15 October. Phil Heatley, the Minister of Fisheries released the report to the public in early November..........

5 Nov 09

(Pdf 340Kbs)

Minister's Aquaculture Letter
The Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley's letter advising of the TAG report and requesting submissions by mid-December.

5 Nov 09

(Pdf 90Kbs)

MFish - Letter and Template

The Ministry of Fisheries' notice of aquaculture consultation and submission template. This document includes the TAG report recommendations.

5 Nov 09

(Pdf 50Kbs)

MFish - Questions and Answers
The Ministry of Fisheries' list of Questions and Answers related to the aquaculture Technical Advisory Group's report and recommendations.

5 Nov 09

(Pdf 40Kbs)

Related documents

Aquaculture Sustainability Report

An interesting report, Challenging the Aquaculture Industry on Sustainability, by Greenpeace. This 24 page report discusses the negative impacts of aquaculture on people and the environment, and also considers more sustainable feeds. Worth a read........

28 Jan 08


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