Marine Reserve Proposal
8 September 2004
Cafler Suite, Forum North, Whangarei
Date: Wednesday 8th Sept 2004
Attendance: 70 - 80 people
On Wednesday 8 September there was a two hour meeting in Whangarei where
the first hour was taken up by DoC staff, a facilitator and Dr Bill
Ballantyne putting the proposals for a marine reserve at Mimiwhangata.
From 8.00 until 9.00 pm there were 12 speakers. One was for the proposal.
Two were Maori who were more interested in their own position (loss
of land, food, foreshore etc and mainly from a self interest point of
view). Their position was unclear. It appears they would be for a reserve
if they got access or it was for a finite term but against it if they
didn't get their way. The balance
of speakers were vehemently in some cases and some less so, against
It does appear
DoC are promoting the reserve on the basis that they know best, Leigh
reserve works and kina barrens are caused by recreational fishers taking
too much, allowing kina to kill the kelp. They answered few questions
and mostly what they did answer was meaningless waffle about "full
consultation with iwi", "proper acceptance of public viewpoints"
"marine reserves are catching on". They gave a guarded comment
that the reserve may last a few years until consultation with hapu and
iwi could allow the area to revert.
One element of
concern was that Vince Kerr showed a map of New Zealand land mass, stating
that "30% of the land mass is under conservation". Clearly,
the emphasis here is that the sea area should be the same.
There were no
Mfish representatives there, in spite of the floor having asked for
this at an Oakura meeting on 21 August. There would have been 70-80
people present but the facilitator refused to take a vote for or against
at the end of the meeting as an indication.
put in excess of 80 tonnes of fertiliser on the land under their control,
adjacent to the existing marine park. What effect has that had?
What is being
done about land based pollution leaching into the sea?
the tonne of urea spread by DoC on land adjacent to the shellfish
beds in Mimiwhangata Bay?
Why is the
outer boundary of the proposed reserve out to 100m depth? There is
no kelp able to grow there, no proven breeding ground and no ability
to monitor what is happening to the sea life out there.
Where is the
evidence of the commercial take?
Why is there
a mussel farm AMA shown within the existing area? (This was one of
the questions DoC answered - there will be no mussel farm allowed
in the proposed reserve, though there is in the current park).
What is unique
about Mimiwhangata that makes DoC want an area people want to visit?
Vince Kerr did answer the "uniqueness" question by saying
it wasn't unique.
Why not a
more isolated spot?
Is it just
because DoC have a holiday place there?
the trips DoC staff take out of Oakura that are clearly not research
How are DoC
going to manage the area? They can't police it now.
How can they
police an area so much larger than the Poor Knights, which they leave
to charter boats and other fishers to police?
DoC say MFish
is responsible for policing but there is no liaison between DoC and
What is the
validity of their research? When was it taken? This particular speaker
survey was done in November to January when there were few snapper
One of the
speakers was a fishing equipment shop proprietor who had done an unscientific
and impromptu survey, where 78% of his customers were opposed to the
idea of a reserve.
a local resident who categorically stated he could show DoC staff
where packhorse crays exist, though DoC cannot find any.
DoC be given control of the area when they have already proved their
incompetence (by their own - Manager John Gardiner's- admission they
have controlled the marine park since Lion Breweries had sold the
land to the Crown in 1963). They have 40 years of incompetent administration,
so why should more power change that?
Where is the
evidence of kelp depletion being caused by fishers? Pictures compared
between 1950 and 2003 do not show kelp depletion in areas recreational
fishers go to.
the Nor' Easterly storms that affect kelp growth and stability? This
depletion theory doesn't seem to be supported by any facts. Bill Ballantyne
went over the theory of kina killing the kelp forest again but still
presented no evidence and there is nothing in the bibliography in
"DoC Marine Reserve Proposal of 12/07/2004" to support this.
There is no
legislative ability to "de-reserve" an area so how do DoC
propose this could happen?