Frequently Asked Questions
The West Coast Marine Park Proposal
These questions and answers were recorded at the public meeting held at Bethells Beach, Waitakere 4th May 2003. They cover many common questions that have asked at the other public meetings.
Graham McIntyre asked a list of questions on behalf of the Bethells community and other questions came directly from the floor.
Jaci Fowler and Ken Catt answered the questions on behalf of the West Coast Working Group.
Discussion Includes –
- Existing Protection
- Changes Expected
- Fishing Impacts
- The West Coast Working Group
- Marine Park vs Marine Reserve
- Can a Marine Park be changed to a Marine Reserve?
- Forest and Bird Involvement in this plan
G MacIntyre - Do you know about and understand all of the local community infrastructures and policies, which are already in place to protect our coast?
Jaci Fowler – there is a large document 50 to 60 pages, background information is available on our website for further reading. In that document we went through threats and highlights a whole lot of management options that we went through and we assessed those against our Marine Park idea and how that was working.
We looked at things like the Quota Management System, the bylaws already in place for things such as dog control, even at Karekare we looked at things such as a rahui. We even looked at fishing, different types of fishing methods, different controls for controlling how you fish in those kind of methods. We looked at set netting on Hectors Dolphin.
So weighing all those up we put in here what we thought were the strongest options that could possibly have some kind of effect on the West Coast that is not already happening now. And the Working Group looked at existing legislation that is already in place but the biggest problem is enforcement. And having a group or entity put together that can actually put pressure, made up from the community, and representatives putting pressure on those authorities that aren’t working and hopefully that would work to get what is already in place, working.
GM – I hear what you are saying but you mention a range of groups but you haven’t mentioned surf clubs, you haven’t mentioned fishing clubs, you haven’t mentioned other clubs and associations that are actually involved at the beach, in the water, within the 4 mile area, within that upper high tide area. What research have you done with the local communities like Bethells? What have you done with the surf clubs, the fishing clubs, within the local community?
JF – with talking to the surf clubs I have actually gone through Surf Life Saving northern region who I have spoken to quite closely. And as far as getting things such as the numbers of people that visit the beach, activities on the beach I am quite familiar with surf life saving. I am a member of Muriwai SLC myself. I am familiar with the activities that go on, on the beach as far as paddling out in the water.
GM – So, to answer my question, not a lot?
JF – we have certainly sent out all of our consultation documents to those kind of groups though.
GM – Is it possible for local communities like ours to manage their own coastline according to the laws and regulations, which are already in place?
JF – In our brochure we generalise threats which goes across the whole coastline, to look at a closer level at areas around Bethells, I don’t know the full extent of the shellfish problem that you may have or even around the coastline here as well, but I’d certainly say that, the people I have spoken to in the immediate Muriwai vicinity they have identified still outstanding problems with enforcement in implementing the existing legislation, so I would say that there are still are issues that are out of the hands of perhaps local communities.
Ken Catt – I would think that it is quite possible that you could do something to improve protection if you’ve got people in your midst who could get appointed as fisheries officers or rangers. But there is simply great difficulty in actually getting that achieved because the Ministry of Fisheries officers are now saying ‘well we don’t want you anymore so we’ve got a great reduction in numbers. The other thing is, as an individual or even a small community have problems when you approach whoever the authorities are, they frequently don’t listen. If you are part of a larger organisation such as, for instance, the West Coast Marine Park group then you’ve got a far better chance of people taking some notice of you if you’re representing instead one person or a few hundred you maybe representing 20,000.
Comment from the Floor – I know the Ministry of Fisheries does have information in Asian writing (language), we’ve got some (in the club) sent by them (Ministry of Fisheries). I just think we should have more pressure on them (Ministry of Fisheries) to have the Honorary Fisheries Officers to get their act together, we want to police it and we had to work hard to get the information from them (Ministry of Fisheries). There’s a lot of information out there for everybody about what the legal limits are. But as a community we just need to work on that. We don’t need a Marine Park to do it if we have more organisation, more pressure on Ministry of Fisheries.
John van der Haas – The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has made no difference, the resources are still getting pillaged out there just as quickly as everywhere else. In your discussion document it says ‘ greater protection for the Auckland West Coast is urgent’ I say it is not urgent, its not required. Enforcement is required.
JF – Not only is the problem enforcement but there’s also another issue with shellfish, there are bag limits for different species but there’s nothing to stop everyone in this room going to one rock platform and taking their bag limit, so you could have the same problem down there saying you can only take your bag limit and you are still going to have the same problem if there is people down there enforcing it saying you can still only take your bag limit and they’ll say ‘ ok, I’ll take my 50 but that rock platform still becomes decimated. So those laws need to be looked at, you can’t just enforce them you need something beyond that.
Paul Barnes – There is legislation that is available, it gives the ability for local communities just like this under section 186A to declare closures for periods of time up to two years. Ban netters. What you should really be doing as a community is getting behind this (section 186A) and demanding that the Ministry of Fisheries gives you these rights.
Anyone can apply for one of these. And what you need to do is implement one of these over your shellfish area here you want protected and what that will do is anyone that goes in there will get fined $5,000 if they are doing that banned procedure.
Now we are currently involved in rewriting the legislation that may pertain to recreational fishers. One of the things we have asked is for this very same tool, for this to be given real management effect and the Ministry (of Fisheries) have now pulled this back out of the cupboard. For about 4 years they have almost denied the existence of this because they are so reliant on the Quota Management System and the management of huge areas that they have taken away all the tools that the locals used to have for managing localised issues.
If option4 is successful, or even your own community, pick up this and go for local management because until communities start taking responsibility for and ownership of the problem we are never going to get a solution. We have tools and we don’t need a group which covers the wider Auckland to be looking after your area, just as I don’t need you people looking after where I go, at Muriwai. Have a look what’s being proposed here as the threats – the seabirds are nesting above the zone where the Marine Park’s going to be, so all we can be talking about is fish or fish species will be affected by this plan. It can only control the intertidal zone and the sea.
All of the species on this coast that are sought by recreational fishers are migratory, they go up and down the coast, they come in, they go out. They do not need any kind of protection such as reserve status, you’ve already got the commercial sector, which is also ignored in this presentation, are not allowed to trawl within one mile. So effectively you've got a commercial free zone for a mile offshore. In that zone, the only extractive use that I am aware of is, because I don’t know of any commercial longliners, is recreational fishers and the minimal impact that recreational and food gathering fishers would have in the fishery just doesn’t even register.
So, even if the fish stock declines we have the Quota Management System. The Fisheries Act demands that we utilise the resource sustainably. If there’s a problem with the fish stock then that would be addressed through the Quota Management System – cutting quota, cutting bag limits, increasing the size limit etc. but its certainly not addressed under this plan.
Have a look at the species, kahawai, trevally, snapper, gurnard, they’re in and out, up and down the coast. They're moving in and out of the reserve. All the benefits, if you change the management in this area, evaporate as soon as the fish go outside whatever line it is. They get scooped up. Nothing in this plan will affect the commercial trawlers ability to catch their quota, so what we are talking about is putting a plan in place which still sees the same amount of fish coming out of the water. Yet one of their objectives up there (on the screen) that they are trying to prevent overfishing. That’s the job of the Fisheries Act, that’s the job of the Quota Management System.
Bruce White (in response to interjection) – I am a commercial fisher of 28 years, mostly working out of the Manukau, and to say the Quota Management System is not working is just a load of ……Back in 1986 when the Quota Management System came in there were 33 trawlers working out of the Manukau. There’s not even 15 now. They catch their quota within six months and we are out of here.
GM – If a Marine Park went ahead, how would it change the way we live within Bethells and how would it impact on the lives of people living in the reserve areas?
Ken Catt – I hope that we are not going to waste your time, it will improve the way you live, but if we set up a Marine Park the main problem as I see it at the moment is that we have all sorts of bylaws and regulations which are there which aren’t enforced. And the only way they are going to be enforced is to set up an organisation like this that local residents act as rangers or wardens, they are given warrants to do the job and they can actually enforce the regulations. So that is one area.
The other area of course is as a ginger group we can go along to DoC, ARC, Waitakere City Council and say ‘you’ve got these dog laws but they are not working. Two weeks ago I was in Piha I walked right past a sign that said “ No Dogs” There was tracks of two penguins going into the bush and right behind them a track of a dog. So there are things like this where…Poor old Rob Astley at Piha is just smashing his head against a wall all the time. Saying it isn’t happening what can we do to make these regulations work? So it certainly isn’t going to restrict your activities in anyway providing you are complying with the regulations.
GM – A lot of people are quite concerned about current policing and they are hearing about ‘ hot spots’ that you are proposing. There doesn’t seem to be any real talk about how the new proposed Marine Park is going to help police anything within Bethells.
KC – Going back to getting rangers or wardens, getting them appointed. In appendix 3 in the draft legislation there’s something in there (in the discussion document). If the thing (park) was set up there could be funding achieved. So instead of one person or two people going down, it would be more secure. It is definitely mentioned in the draft legislation that there will be a need for wardens or rangers duly appointed and they will have to come from the local resident population.
GM – Which is what could happen now?
KC – Yes
GM – There is a lot of horse activity, a lot of film activity on Bethells, under the Marine Park what would change?
KC – Nothing. Why should we change it? Although we are drawing the boundary at MHWS there are a number of statements in there saying we’ve got to liaise with local councils as to what their protection measures are and then see how can we improve on those? How can we enforce them? The fact that we have drawn our line at MHWS doesn’t mean to say we are not interested in what happens beyond that area, we certainly are.
GM – In your research how many fish do recreational fishermen catch in the proposed park area in a year?
Bernie Ward – there is no technical data to give you finite figures. The catch in comparison to other extraction is quite minimal, the catch is quite varied, but there is no finite set of figures you can put up on the wall or toss around the room.
JF – These are ideas, this is not a formal application, and this is full of ideas by a group who thinks we need more protection on the West Coast. So the fact that we haven’t got a figure on how many fishermen use this coast we certainly recognise that recreational fishing is a popular activity on the West Coast and same as surf life saving and all the other types of activities. And I think that alone the groups that this is going out to shows we are noticing that there are activities going and they need to be consulted with. That’s what this process is right now.
Paul Barnes – The question was how much fish was caught, its 400 tonne of snapper on the whole of the West Coast right down to Wellington. This area would be probably the most important area for recreational fishers, the greatest numbers so I would say about 300 tonne of snapper. Snapper is the most sought after fish so all the other species is likely to be less than that. For the commercial sector they take about 1400 tonne. So the recreational impact on the fishery is probably around 25% of that of the commercial.
Bernie Ward - You mentioned before about consultation for fishermen, that’s really been at my door and there has been in various sectors of the recreational fishing community a lot of information with updates. Now the last meeting I called at the Manukau Cruising Club I invited 17 clubs, 9 sent representatives along. (we) Couldn’t go forward till we had a document to put out to the public, but we have now got that document.
I am Muriwai Sport Fishing Club delegate to the NZ Big Game Fishing Council. The NZBGFC has quarterly meetings, zone meetings, at every one of those I have advised all the Auckland game fishing council affiliates what has been happening in relation to not only this proposal but others around the Auckland area. If the delegates haven’t taken that back to the clubs, the clubs have to look at that. If the clubs haven’t sent their delegates to the meetings that’s not this group’s problem. But there have been attempts made in terms of consultation.
With the release of this document I have been to another fishing organisation Angling and Casting Association wanting a list of clubs involved or affiliated to Angling and Casting. I have yet to receive a reply. So I am not only dealing with clubs directly associated with the West Coast I am dealing with clubs from Dargaville right down to Raglan because they all fish up and down the coast. So I need a bigger picture than just the individual clubs.
GM – How many Draft Proposals of “ Auckland’s Wild West Coast” were printed and sent out in the Auckland area, and who were they sent to? Is there a database of clubs and other affected groups, which the Draft Proposal was sent to?
JF – We don’t have a database, we have just tried to get the groups on the West Coast highlighted as best we could, each fishing groups we could, certainly each surf club secretary was sent one on the West Coast through the northern region (office) they got those sent out. And all the other groups, basically it’s been identifying resident and ratepayer groups.
We had 3000 of these (brochures) in total printed, that certainly isn’t enough to reach every resident on the West Coast and wasn’t intended to. For the fact that it is not affordable for us to do that. But these types of meetings and getting a few hopefully to one or two people in the community and that gets around that’s the only was obviously that’s the only way we can affordably do that.
GM – You said earlier that this is a condensed document and there is a fuller document on the website. Have you got that web address?
KC – It’s on that document (brochure).
JF – It’s printed on the front here (indicated) so everyone knows where it is.
KC – If I can enlarge on that, we have a mailing list of 80 key stakeholders and they have all received the 50-page discussion document. As far as I know we should have picked up every resident and ratepayer, all fishing clubs and organisations that we can get names for, all down the coast. Obviously we may have missed some but we have done everything we can to be in contact with every organisation that seems to be involved, that’s along the coast. The last meeting we had there were people from east Auckland complaining that we hadn’t sent stuff to them.
JF – I have tried to target a few fishing clubs on the east coast as well, when I say target, it was just ones I had been told that visit the West Coast more frequently, or whatever. So through that way it was word of mouth. The reason we didn’t print off the larger document because it is a 60-page document and we’re a Non Government Organisation and funding is limited so to get one was a bonus.
BW – Offer of 60-page document available for anyone that wanted one.
Trish Rea – Is the mood of this meeting, considering it is almost overwhelming objection to the Marine Park, is it typical of what happened out a Muriwai (previous meeting)?
KC – Yes
TR – Therefore if there’s going to be similar meetings and similar responses, would it not be better for the Working Group to look at the issue. The issue is the MHWS, intertidal zone. We’ve got the fisheries sorted out with the Fisheries Act. So wouldn’t it be better for the Working Group to turn around and say, lets deal with the actual issue and lets not go with a Marine Park. If the people don’t want a Marine Park then why go there?
KC – A number of people at Muriwai, who created that disturbance and they were extraordinarily rude, and they’ve come down here and created a disturbance as well. We are going to work this on the basis of the questionnaires that we receive and it will be done properly, it will all be audited then we will make a decision on whether to proceed or not. The fact that the pressure group comes in and makes a lot of noise will not sway us the slightest little bit. If people feel strongly they’ve got to put pen to paper and send their questionnaires in.
Question from the Floor – regarding questionnaires being sent out to all Forest and Bird members.
KC in response - The questionnaire that will go out as far as I know, it will go out into the magazines which are distributed throughout the Auckland region, not throughout the country. So in other words the people in the Auckland region who have an interest in this coast have a chance…..
Peter Jackson – So on your database throughout Forest and Bird (your database) wont be getting a print of this questionnaire to post into you?
KC – No, my understanding is the questionnaire, within the Forest and Bird journals, those people that live within the Auckland region will get a copy of the questionnaire.
JF – Will the surveys be put into the Forest and Bird magazines? The answer to that question is most definitely yes. Because Forest and Bird are a conservation organisation and Auckland region they would want to have a say in the Auckland region. So why wouldn’t we use our database to have our say?
Stu Cameron – So why aren’t these meetings over the whole Auckland region?
JF – There is, there’s been one at Muriwai. The three different territorial councils that are represented in our group, there’s been one at Muriwai, one at Waitakere on the 12th of May and one in Waiuku on the 9th of May and that’s the three different territorial councils. We’re not saying everyone in Auckland has been consulted, can be sent copies….
John van der Haas – Its important to enable everybody who wants to have a say, to have a say
JF – Absolutely
JvdH – The problem is people have not been given the opportunity
JF – I read something that option4 made in NZ Fishing (News) the other day that said that they have a lot of their stuff is on their website because it’s the most successful way for their members to get it. We have it (questionnaire) on a website for you. We don’t have the budget to hand out a survey to every single person, we have put it in places, where we can, as publicly as we can, so consultation process is always (more) that that.
The Working Group
GM – With the current proposal that you are putting forward does the Working Group unanimously agree with the proposal that is in draft?
KC – Probably not, there were some comments made at the Muriwai meeting we have at least one member who seems to have considerable reservations but there is 16 people on the Working Group, you wouldn’t expect them all to agree on everything.
There are things, which I would like to have seen if I take my group hat off and put my Forest and Bird hat on. I would love to see some Marine Reserves in, but it was decided that we weren’t going to get involved in Marine Reserves therefore I have to accept that.
JF – It would be fair to say that at one stage it was noted in the minutes and I have it on record that the whole group did agree to a Marine Park that went to 4 nautical miles and stopped at MHWS. No reserves, nothing else but a Marine Park.
Stu Cameron – Which members of the working committee do you want to get rid of? And which direction did you want to push it?
KC – The communication just sent out basically said – if you think the whole exercise is a waste of time, which is what we were told by one person, and its not worth having any communication with your local group then there is no point you being on the Working Group.
Marine Park vs Reserve
GM – Was it put forward to have Marine Reserves rather than the current plan?
KC – Over a period of two years we have covered virtually every combination of protection you can think of, even including going to the first ridge line for instance to Marine Reserves itself, but eventually after months and months of discussion we decided on what is in that booklet (brochure) which seemed to be something which we could achieve. Some of the other things for instance, if we had said, we think the (limit) should go to the first ridge line which is in fact in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, but isn’t enforced we saw no point in putting that in there because we couldn’t see any way of enforcing that sort of protection so we are trying to limit to something we can achieve.
JF – There are certainly members of the Working Group who thought that Marine Reserves would have the on the ground conservation result perhaps over and above what a Marine Park may have, but as a group, unanimously, the proposal came out as a Marine Park.
Anna Mason – that vote was taken before the government passed that legislation on the set netting.
JF – Which vote was that?
AM – The unanimous vote for a Marine Park. The idea of a Marine Park originally was because of Maui’s Dolphin right? Helping shellfish, the idea then was to have no take areas along the coast specifically for shellfish that as each area recovered then that area could be reopened and areas that could be rested, areas that could be reopened.
JF – Areas such as you are talking about could only be enforced under rahui or something similar because the current Marine Reserves Act wouldn’t allow that.
AM – Well at that stage we hadn’t decided but we never ever was there talk of putting reserves where these ‘Hot Spots’ are in this document, here reserves are definitely mentioned.
JF – But reserves are mentioned in here (brochure) as well
Question from the Floor – But you are saying you’re not wanting Marine Reserves in….
JF – But its good for you to know there are options out there, Marine Reserves are an option for the West Coast and we’re asking quite clearly in the back of the questionnaire…
KC – We were asked to investigate Marine Reserves to investigate threats, to investigate possible solutions and that’s what we’ve done. So we have actually got to push some of the solutions in the document. As we have said time, after time, after time, we are not going to establish Marine Reserves, we are not going to establish Marine Mammal Sanctuaries, we are not going to stop people fishing off the beach, we are not going to stop people driving on the beach. If other organisations wish to do that they’ve got to go through the proper legislation but we were asked to give an opinion on what the threats were and that’s what we have done.
JF – I think you would find that if Marine Reserves were not mentioned in here (brochure) as a possible option we would’ve also been still having the same question, is it a Marine Park or is it a Marine Reserve? So its kind of a ‘catch 22’ where do you go? Do you include it so you don’t have a hidden agenda or do you leave it out because its not part of your agenda? So, its there as an option, its there clearly in the discussion document at the back.
Question from the Floor – So there is no hidden agenda for Marine Reserves at all?
JF – There is no hidden agenda for Marine Reserves. No.
KC – When we didn’t have Marine Reserves in there it would be totally….
Question from the Floor – At this stage you are saying?
JF – I am saying the Working Group is proposing a Marine Park and they do not have any proposals for a Marine Reserve.
John Wheeler – Describe the problems that you want to address. Now it appears to me that most of these, apart from the commercial are land based aren’t they? Tourism, pollution, domestic animals, plants and animals, off road vehicles, its all foreshore.
JF – Its foreshore, a lot of it and keep in mind to start that vision is a ‘ land to sea’ approach. Without looking to see what is happening on the land you cant protect the marine environment.
JW – So really, what’s happening on the land is what you are talking about. Trying to protect and that’s the way you are trying to protect it isn’t it?
JF – When looking at the threats, holistically, we have mentioned that and possibly things like that conservation areas and possibly things like that on land maybe a good option as well, but the Working Group are only proposing the Marine Park side of that. Things such as the heritage thing may take care of the land side of things.
JW – I don’t want to confuse this with the heritage area, that’s a whole nother bag of worms. But a lot of the problems you have identified are land based or foreshore based and also the other point I’d like to make is most of those things already have existing legislation that can control them. What are you trying to do?
KC – Virtually everything we are trying to do is covered by existing legislation but going back to the meeting we had some two years ago we were told existing legislation isn’t working and we want a group set up so they can chase up Doc, ARC, WCC or whoever whose responsibility it is, and make these things work and that is all we are trying to do. Just set up an organisation to do that.
Stu Cameron – If a Marine Reserve is instituted and it’s found later to be not necessary, is there a process to remove it then?
KC – We are not here to discuss Marine Reserves.
SC – How come Marine Reserves are in your proposal sir? So I am just asking a question regarding one.
KC – As far as I know the answer is no, but I don’t profess to be an expert on Marine Reserves.
SC – Regarding bull kelp (mentioned earlier), you stated ‘ this is the northern most limit of bull kelp. Have you ever been to Scott’s Point or the Bluff on 90 Mile Beach?
JF – Yeah, I have, yeah
SC – There’s a hell of a lot there, and that’s 200 miles north (of Bethells).
Can a Park change to a Marine Reserve?
Stuart Cameron – I was attracted to the idea of a Marine Park two years ago. I thought it was quite a positive move, as time has gone on I have felt quite distanced from it. The thing that is burning me is, as a park how easy is it for central government or DoC to take this and add it into the 10% Marine Reserve and take it off the community? I think most people, reasonable people, and they want to preserve the coast but they also want reasonable access to it. They don’t want it hijacked.
What protection have we got from that happening if this park goes through? Have we got a bigger buffer or just a little buffer, that’s just a small thing, that goes into a folder of a big buffer that it would take 10 to 20 years to change it from one to the other and we have reasonable time in the process to change it?
KC – The question is irrelevant from the point of view that anyone at any stage, any organisation can decide they want to set up a Marine Reserve. In my view it would be absolutely ridiculous to try and set up a Marine Reserve round from South Head right the way down the mouth of the Kaipara. But if the Bethells residents or Piha residents said ‘we’re tired of what’s happening in our area, we want to set up a Marine Reserve’ I can give you no guarantee that they wont put in an application tomorrow. But it has to go through the same procedure, which as you know is public notification, hearings, perhaps two or three years afterwards there will be a decision on the thing. But I can give you no guarantee that somewhere along the coast some organisation wont set up a Marine Reserve.
SC – A lot of us see this as a vehicle the government could shortcut that process with and that’s what a lot of our concern is.
KC – Well they haven’t done it with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
SC – If we could have buffers so they couldn’t shortcut the process then this vehicle would be a great idea.
JF – The kind of buffer you are talking about is legislation itself. What's required in the Marine Reserve Act is to go through this whole process again, of what we are going through now for a Marine Park. The same process for every management tool. Having a Marine Park there will neither make it easier for a Marine Reserve or harder for a Marine Reserve.
Having a Marine Park will not stop any organisation or anyone else, be it Forest and Bird or anyone else, coming along and asking for a Marine Reserve. But not having a Marine Park will not stop that either. So having a Marine Park will help the situation of the future of Marine Reserve coming in.
There will always be the inevitable possibilities that they may come in. I’m not saying they will, but having a pressure group there, as a Marine Park group is going to have to have a weighting in those decisions always in the statutory process. For example, option4, the fishing group that has been formed, always has to have a weighting, is having a weighting now, as a large pressure group in any reserve application or anything that comes up. The same thing will happen with a Marine Park group, you’d have always a group there to put the pressure on, and say we’ve formed this group many years ago and we wanted a Marine Park here and we still stand strong on that and we don’t necessarily think a Marine Reserve is the best idea. Our park is working fine, but you’re not going to have any more weighting that the person down the road. All I can say is, in legislation you have to go through this process and you wont be able to take any shortcuts in this process. That’s the only guarantee that you can get.
Nathan Adams – You were just saying you would have weight as the West Coast Working Group. If a proposal came along for a Marine Reserve what a lot of us are afraid of is obviously Forest and Bird are behind this, in a big way, they’ve financed your wages and we know Forest and Bird are pro Marine Reserves. Therefore if the Working Group has weight they are going to be using their weight to form the Marine Reserves not oppose them.
KC – The draft legislation is being drawn up has a whole list of community representatives, not one of those is a Forest and Bird representative. When the advisory group is set up, they will be controlling whatever happens in the park not Forest and Bird.
NA – So why are they financing it then?
KC – We (Forest and Bird) were asked by the Working Group as a recognised conservation group, can you get funding for this project? If I went along as Ken Catt and said ‘ please I’d like $60,000 they would tell me to try and set up an incorporated trust, it would take quite a long time. It’s much easier to use an existing conservation organisation to get grants.
Question from the Floor – What is the difference between a Marine Park and a Marine Reserve?
JF – Marine Reserve is a no take zone, can’t take anything, you can’t fish, you can’t do anything in it except activities that do not extract from that environment.
A Marine Park allows for recreational fishing, it allows for all recreational activities basically. Except in our proposal we have a suggestion to keep commercial fishing out to 4 nautical miles.
Question from the Floor – So what you are saying is you want to restrict commercial fishing but not restrict the pleasure fishing or pleasure activities used by the every day person?
JF – All recreation, yes.
GM – If it does become a Marine Park, we’ve talked about Marine Reserves, but lets talk about a Marine Park, which is essentially what you are proposing. What is the process if the Marine Park is not working? What happens then, do you come back and say its something else? You’ve said these are the threats; these are the problems a Marine Park’s going to help but what happens if it doesn’t help? Do we throw it out then try something new or what is the course?
KC – There is in the draft legislation a whole group of people who are supposed to be a management advisory group. In my view at the moment, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is not working very well because it’s got no teeth to it. We’ve tried to put some teeth into the draft legislation, but if it isn’t working it will be up to the community groups to go to the advisory group and say, look you’ve got this system, it isn't working, what are you going to do about it? As you would with any other legislation, and try and get it changed.
GM – But once it’s a Marine Park it’s always a Marine Park, it can’t be changed back?
KC – I hadn’t considered once it was set up anyone wanting to change it. I hadn’t thought about it.
JF – As an act of Parliament I would think you would, might go to the legislation and overturn the Marine Park.
SC – So it would be different to the Marine Reserves Act then?
JF – I would think so, a Marine Reserve cannot be overturned.
John van der Haas – What method of audit is available to make sure that the findings from the Working Group are actually what the people want?
KC – When you say, “what the people want”, when we produce our findings, when all these questionnaires come in, then there will a tabulation and we will know from that what people want. But I think what you are actually saying is ‘ is there some system of audit, so that if we don’t like that one, we’ll throw that one away. This has been raised before, we have set up a database, which Jaci is doing.
If for instance you put in a questionnaire and you think, the answer is all wrong and I want to go and have a look at the questionnaires of ….I believe we should be able to do that. We would have to somehow and I have done this in the past, people are talking about ‘ we want more time’. I have been given a week to do a review of the NZ Coastal Policy Statement that came out 10 years ago where I coordinated all the input from the branches and I have got to review it in a week and send it off. So I have got some experience in getting in a number of submissions and consolidating them and trying to come up with something which is fairly representative. But they will all be there if anybody wants to have to look at them at some stage to make sure they are a fair representation of what people have said.
JvdH – Will you be confirming to people who have sent in a submission that you have received their submission?
KC & JF – No
JF – There is nothing stopping that person ringing up and saying ‘ my name is such and such’, names will be listed in alphabetical order in the database along with a submitter number. That submission number will be used…..
John Horsfall – So there is no audit?
JF & KC – Yes
JF – Anyone can ring up, if you have a list of five people from your club, or whatever, that you want to randomly pick five people and check that their submissions were entered correctly. You can come in and check the database, give the names first of all, we’ll give you the submitter numbers that were given to their applications and you can check their data has been entered correctly.
Question from the Floor – So if there’s more opposed (to) it than are for it, is that the end of it? Will it (the proposal) stop there?
KC – I would think if we got more people said ‘ we don’t want it to proceed’ we would stop. Fairly simple answer.
Lance Pulman – Due to the lack of people out there in the public having access to, knowledge of what’s happening, I ask the committee of the Working Group for an extension of six months from last Monday for submissions to be received. The reason why, is that, half the NZACA clubs, and there’s more than 30 in Auckland, need to know what’s going on. This area is also their fishing area and it affects a lot more people than what you have made contact with. As it is here today, that there’s a lot more people against it, and there’s going to be a lot more people against it at future meetings.
KC – We’ve been circulating material, we’ve had meetings with interested groups for over two years. We’ve circulated fifteen thousand of one leaflet, thousands of other leaflets. If I wanted to put in a Marine Reserve application I would be given two months to put in a submission. On this we are considering an extension but it certainly will not be an extension of six months. If you cant get your act together, frankly, within two months, there’s something radically wrong with you. We might extend it for a month.
Paul Barnes – If you want to demonstrate good faith here, I ask that you accept email submissions.
KC – We can’t.
PB – Give us the database characteristics and we will tabulate the responses. If you really want to find out what the people have to say option4 will offer that it will contact and communicate with all the people that it knows in the greater Auckland area. It will send out a form with the questions that you have, in the order that you have, acceptably tabulated so that you can collate those with the ones you get on the form. Will you accept those submissions?
KC – If they were printed out, yes
PB – You want them printed out so that you have to then type them in to database them?
JF – The reason why we’ve gone with no email is because Tiri (Tiritiri Matangi Reserve application) had a problem with their Marine Reserve one where they were overwhelmed with responses coming back from particular groups and it clogged up their whole email system. That affected the way they were able to process their results. So it’s easier for us to get them through the mail, albeit a long task to type them in and process them
John Horsfall – I offer the services of my server and you can swamp it with as many emails as you want and it wont go down. I will offer it free of charge.
PB – You are trying to limit the way people respond to a public consultation. That is not democratic. We know there are people who want to have a say on this, they’ve asked for a time extension which you have denied. Do you just not want to hear what they have to say?
KC – I have been hearing what people have had to say for the last two years. I’ve got to go back to the co-sponsors of the thing and I've got to go back to the Working Group and say ‘ would you consider an extension?’. We might extend it for a month, but certainly we’re not going to extend it for six.
PB – I will put the question to you again. If we can deliver, electronically, on a CD, can you handle that?
JF - Yes
PB – Please minute – that the Working Group will accept submissions electronically and we (option4) can provide them on a CD.
Forest & Bird Involvement
Lance Pulman – You said you weren’t going to stop vehicles on beaches. As Forest and Bird are working on a proposal to sop vehicles on beaches, ARC and Rodney, Counties, I’m on that committee. So if Forest and Bird have implemented the idea to stop vehicles on beaches, is that not right?
KC – Would you like to tell me who from Forest and Bird is in that group because I know nothing about this whatsoever.
LP – Maybe you should find out.
JF – I think I know who’s on that group, its Dave Pattimore who works with Auckland Forest and Bird. But then you come back to this whole situation again. I am employed by Forest and Bird, but this is a Working Group initiative so what happens with Forest and Bird. Forest and Bird also have a Marine Reserve target, that doesn’t mean we are proposing Marine Reserves.
Question from the Floor – So what sort of stakeholder is Forest and Bird in the marine environment?
JF – As a conservation organisation they keep up to date pretty much with anything that’s happening in the forefront in the environment.
Statement from the Floor – Everyone has been coming out here for their whole lives, whether its 30 years, 40 years, however old we are and we’ve all had a freedom here. Whether it’s taking our dogs on the beach, swimming or fishing, whatever we want and I think everyone in the room doesn’t want to lose that right and share it with their kids. That seems to be the issue.
As soon as the government gets involved in it you lose your rights completely and that’s what people are scared of. It’s not what you people are saying because you’re trying to protect what we’ve got and that’s what we want. But when it becomes a government institution everybody loses their rights and we’re all policed and we’re living in a state like Russia and that’s what New Zealand is starting to feel like. We’ve got a puppy and we’re too scared to take it out on the beach for goodness sake. The last dog we had, we controlled our dog. We didn’t need someone else telling us that dog had to be on a lead. It didn’t go around killing penguins.
It’s just that everyone is being policed and that everyone’s sick of it and that’s why everyone is anti you guys (Working Group). I’m not anti you personally. But we have got a place out on the Barrier, there’s that big Marine Reserve (proposal). I mean a big police state, you can’t do what you want on your own land, you can’t just go down on the beach and just be who you want to be. Because there’s this big government that’s telling everyone what they can and can’t do and I think that's the big issue. And that’s why everyone’s against this thing – Big Brother.
88% of those present at this meeting objected to the Marine Park Proposal.