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Letter to Editor

Sand and Sea's Response to 'A Paradise Conspiracy'

by Trish Rea

2 October 2003

A letter to the Editor of the Investigate magazine October 2003


Dear Editor

At last. A balanced comment on the proposal for a marine park/reserves on Auckland’s west coast. The article in last months Investigate magazine, A Paradise Conspiracy, was a very good commentary on the situation.

Statements from Ken Catt, the convenor of the working group proposing the plan about option4 and Sand and Sea having pre-filled out questionnaires on their websites is another example of twisted truth. At no stage has option4 had a pre-filled out form online. Sand and Sea did have a form filled out as an objection form but also gave visitors the option of using a blank one.

For him to use the argument that the working group sent out questionnaires to Forest and Bird members in response to Sand and Sea ‘stacking the results’ is a fallacy. Sand and Sea was formed well after the proposal was put out for discussion. More importantly, the working group only issued 3000 questionnaires for the public to use while sending many more to the Forest and Bird membership.

While the convenor feels comfortable calling those opposing the plan as “Rent a Mob” the issue is about a small group imposing their wishes on the public without a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond. The suggestion they might throw the questionnaires in the wastepaper basket is a reflection of the attitude these people have towards public opinion.

The groups for and against the proposal have one common objective, to protect our coastline. It is unfortunate that the failure of the statutory authorities to enforce the existing laws has lead to these groups opposing each other instead of being allies in the quest for better marine protection.

Trish Rea

Sand and Sea

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