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MPA Extn Request

Marine Protected Areas Deadline Extn Request


22 December 2004


Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation
Parliament Buildings

Email: ccarter@ministers.govt.nz

cc: Mr David Benson – Pope

     Minister of Fisheries



December 22, 2004

Dear Mr Carter

Re: Marine Protected Areas Policy Statement and Implementation Plan

Thank you for your letter dated 11 November requesting submissions on the draft Marine Protected Area (MPA) Policy Statement and Implementation Plan developed by the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish).

option4 request a two-month extension to the deadline of 21 st January 2005 as we believe the limited submission period unfairly disadvantages non-commercial fishers and the New Zealand public, due to the timeframe covering the holiday season. We consider a deadline of 21st March 2005 is more appropriate.

We note your comment, " the Government is strongly committed to protecting representative samples of the full range of marine habitats and ecosystems as part of a wider strategy to effectively conserve New Zealand's biodiversity" and consider it would be a demonstration of the Government's strong commitment to consult with " tangata whenua and interested parties " that the deadline be extended.

Our commitment to the public has been to offer them enough time to engage, conduct adequate consultation, prepare draft submissions for comment and then provide feedback to formal processes that will impact on our ability to fish for food.

Government are well aware of resource issues facing advocacy groups such as ours and with much of option4's resources already committed to the Kahawai Legal Challenge there is very little left to dedicate to this process. Marine protection has been an important aspect of our advocacy over the past few years and we would expect sufficient time would be offered to the public so that meaningful input can be considered in the attempt to achieve a coordinated, integrated approach to marine protection.

Would you please confirm that our submission would be accepted for consideration if received by or on the 21st March 2005. We look forward to making a positive contribution to marine protection on behalf of option4 supporters, the public and our future generations.

Yours sincerely,

Trish Rea

option4 spokesperson

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