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ORNZ Open Letter June 2004

Open Letter to Chris Carter

In reply to statements made on Stewart Island while announcing the Paterson Inlet's Ulva Island Marine Reserve

10 June 2004                                    


Dear Sir

Would you please explain to the public of New Zealand how you are able to lay claim that the recreational fishers of this country are against the governments plan under the Biodiversity Strategy to place 10% of the New Zealand Marine Environment, including the exclusive Economic Zone (out to the 200 Mile limit) under Marine Protection, when to the best of my knowledge, at no stage have you or your department ever truly asked for the opinions of the recreational fishers, other than a recent research carried out by CRESA on behalf of the Department of Conservation. In the case of a meeting that I attended, finished short of asking the question that were of most concern to those that were there. 

Nor sir have either you or your department ever made any attempt to hold meaningful discussions of any significance other than through submissions with any representative groups in an attempt to over come problems created by your input and the department's inability to listen to the concerns of others.

In your most recent outburst you have made claim that the Recreational Fishers Association has opposed the reserve to the bitter end

It would appear to me that you have failed to read the Biodiversity Strategy document because if you had, then you would surely have known that the Recreational Fishers Association were in fact supporting the Department of Conservation by wanting to place the area under mataitai, which is one of the protection options suggested in the Biodiversity Strategy document.

Could you please explain to the public of New Zealand where in the Biodiversity Strategy document, provision has been made for 10% of the New Zealand coastline to be placed in Marine Reserves as per a statement made by your, or are we to now believe this has been your personal decision which seems to have been picked up by those that are actively supporting this vision and laying claim that perhaps 20% would be a better option.

You have made mention of the new marine reserve ACT when passed will be needed to streamline the passage of reserve proposals, is this not just another way to fast tracking reserve proposals against the wishers of the public that to date have clearly shown that they are not in support of what is being put forward by the Department of Conservation.

Yet given the ability to have had proper input we the public would likely to have been more supportive, and prepared to support these proposals from the start.

You have stated that you are mystified why recreational fishers are not your greatest allies, if you cannot work out the answer to that then there is no hope at all for any of us.

I will end with one final statement by you "I'm impatient about marine protection, I feel worried about the future of our marine environment."

Having just read this I am now even more concerned given that this would suggest that future reserves may now be pushed through with or without the support of the public at large purely because of your impatience and that there is still insufficient scientific knowledge to support that marine reserve are the correct solution, this also is mentioned in the Biodiversity strategy Document.


John Friend


ORNZ Marine Committee



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