Thursday October 23, 2003
Inlet Marine Reserve
I understand you have
asked for feedback on the Paterson Inlet marine reserve application
in order to assist your decision on concurrence for this application.
Your Ministry have held two meetings to discuss the issue with the
public and have advised we have until October 28, 2003 to respond.
I would like to ask for an extension of time to respond for another
60 days, till December 27, 2003.
The meetings conducted
by your Ministry were held in Invercargill (September 25th) and
Stewart Island (September 24th). By all accounts these meetings
were very well run and constructive. It would be appropriate if
more meetings were scheduled and advertised in Christchurch , Dunedin
, Queenstown and possibly Greymouth. Many fishers and hunters visit
Stewart Island and are unaware of the existence of the marine reserve
Over the past week option4
have had a number of enquiries from people who use the area for
recreational purposes and have not been consulted. These people
are both from within the Southland area and beyond. Safety is a
major concern for most of these people when using this area of interest.
I understand you support
the concept of good process in your decision-making and this issue
raises some questions which I would like answers for. Please take
the time to consider and offer answers to the following -
- Is this process of asking for feedback for concurrence on a
marine reserve application an ongoing issue or just being applied
to this particular application?
- Do you or your Ministry have a formal process in place to deal
with concurrence decisions?
- If so, can we have a copy of the guidelines/ process relating
to marine reserve applications?
- Is it correct that a mataitai application has been filed with
MFish for an area in Paterson Inlet?
- Attendees at the Invercargill meeting were advised that only
land owners adjoining the area within the mataitai application
can submit to that application process, is this correct?
- If so, where are these rules explained in the Fisheries Act
or any other Act?
You will be well aware
of option4's involvement to date regards marine reserves as indicated
during our meeting in Wellington on October 1st. In the absence
of a review period for a marine reserve we consider marine reserves
to affect all New Zealanders and as such they have a right to be
aware and make comment on any application. Rose Grindley of MFish
specifically stated in the Invercargill meeting that group submissions
would be counted as a single submission.
- Is this MFish policy?
- Since when has this been MFish policy and where is the policy
explained in MFish documents?
- Would you please provide a definition of group submission and
Customary Maori fisheries
management tools such as mataitai and taiapure are not generally
well understood by the public. To achieve positive results from
any marine protection measure there has to be public support and
buy in. The opportunity exists to explore the possibility of using
one of these measures in lieu of marine reserves. It would be good
to see Maori working with the public of New Zealand to give effect
to these tools. Maybe this is an opportunity to take the time to
examine the risks and benefits of all protection measures available,
not just a marine reserve in Paterson Inlet.
Considering the success
of the Fisheries Management Plan within the Paterson Inlet it is
questionable if any further protection measures are required. I
have been advised that the Paterson Inlet Management Plan is often
used as an example of how well this scheme can work with support
of the public. What evidence exists that supports the need for more
restrictions to the public use of the area?
The consultation you and
your Ministry have instigated in relation to this marine reserve
application is a positive move however the consultation needs to
be more thorough and widespread. An extension of 60 days would help
in this regard. The need for stricter protection measures needs
to be fully examined and consideration given to other measures.
Exploration accompanied by an education campaign to facilitate the
implementation of existing customary Maori fisheries management
tools would be appropriate and timely.
Time is of the essence.
I would appreciate your earliest possible response and acknowledgment
of this letter considering the current submission deadline of October
28 th .
PO Box 37951
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