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Manukau Sports Fishing Club second letter to the Working Group

Manukau Sports Fishing Club Inc
PO Box 60379

Attention: Ken Catt
Auckland’s Wild West Coast Working Group
PO Box 4514 Te Atatu Peninsula
Waitakere City
Email: kiwicatt@xtra.co.nz

18 May 2003

Dear Ken,

As we said we would in the Manukau Sport Fishing Club’s previous submission dated 12 December 2002, the Club’s committee and 225 members have considered the new information that has come to light since that date regarding the proposed West Coast Marine Park. This information has come from the now published glossy brochure ‘Greater Protection for Auckland’s Wild West Coast’ and attendance at all the Public Meetings held to date.

The Club’s membership opposes the proposals laid out by Forest & Bird under the thinly disguised mantle of Auckland’s West Coast Working Group in the strongest possible terms.

Our initial impression that Forest & Bird had a disproportionate representation on the Working Group has been confirmed. The proposal is no longer from the Working Group but from Forest & Bird in conjunction with the West Coast Working Group. We abhor the lie that is being repeatedly presented for public consumption that the proposal in its current form represents the ‘unanimous views’ of the Working Group when it patently does not – it is Forest & Bird’s proposal.

With this now in sharp focus, as members of the predominant user group of the proposed Park from MLWS out to sea, we find it intensely distasteful that proposals are being foisted upon us by an overwhelmingly land based pressure group. That this group feels bull kelp is in enough danger to merit special protection gives us little confidence that marine interests are in well informed hands.

One of the main planks to justify the plan at all - protection of the North Island Hector’s dolphin – has recently disappeared with the introduction of the commercial set net ban within 4 miles of MHWS. It is now obvious that without this laudable aim the planned Marine Park has no practical purpose at all.

By your own admission at several Public Meetings, there are abundant laws already on the statute books to afford protection to flora and fauna in the water, in the intertidal zone and above MHWS. You also admit that the implementation of these regulations is what needs urgent attention. This, implementation and enforcement of existing regulations, is where effort and resources, both monetary and human, need to be focussed. The establishment of a Marine Park is an unnecessary beaurocratic layer that will afford no added protection to anything.

The Marine Park proposal without these justifications can now be seen for what it is – a softening up process for your (again publicly admitted) desire to see a chain of Marine Reserves in the area. Your denials that this is the case, I’m afraid, are as unconvincing as your denials that Forest & Bird had undue representation on the Working Group were five months ago. Forest & Bird were not to be trusted then and are not to be trusted now.

I repeat, and want to make it abundantly clear, that the Manukau Sport Fishing Club opposes in every detail the Marine Park as set out in ‘Greater Protection for Auckland’s Wild West Coast’.

This submission is the Club’s current position and supersedes our submission of December 12 2002.

Written confirmation of receipt of this submission would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

David Theobald
for Manukau Sport Fishing Club

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