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Report on Public Meeting held at Laingholm Hall 19 May 2003

Report on Public Meeting
West Coast Marine Park

May 2003

Venue: Laingholm Hall, Laingholm, Waitakere City
Date: Monday 19 May 2003
Chair: Rick Nancarrow, Laingholm Fishing Club
Duration: 2.5 hours
Attendance: 200 people

Jaci Fowler and Ken Catt (convenor of West Coast Working Group) presented the document Greater Marine Protection for Auckland’s Wild West Coast draft proposal for public discussion document. Jaci (Forest and Bird) went through her PowerPoint presentation.

Marine Park Presentation
The Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Park project was covered and the limitations imposed on fishers and other users within this park.

Trish Rea from option4 reiterated the need for the submission period to be extended for a period of six months.

The lack of enforcement of dog control bylaws by local territorial authorities was discussed along with the lack of action by Ministry of Fisheries representatives regarding localised depletion of shellfish.

The issue of poor consultation was covered. The documents presented by the West Coast Working Group were flawed and therefore invalidated the whole process. There is a need for the documentation to be rewritten and a new public consultation process once the new document has been produced.

Concerns were raised regarding inadequate representation on the Working Group and the suggested management board for the Marine Park in the draft Marine Park legislation.

John van der Haas from Sand and Sea (west coast users action group) presented an opinion against the proposal from a west coast user and fisher viewpoint.

John raised the issue of Forest and Bird being heavily involved in the process. The article by Jaci Fowler in the Forest and Bird May 03 edition was covered including the reference of marine reserves within the Marine Park boundaries.

Out of the audience of 200 people only 3.5% supported the Marine Park proposal.

95% of those present voted to have the proposal dropped altogether.

Ken Catt protested that the majority of the audience were fishermen. It was pointed out to the Working Group that the people most affected by the proposal were actually fishermen.

Security of submissions are guaranteed by voting through the option4 website. An audit of submissions to the Working Group can be conducted if this is required to appease public concern regarding the outcome of the process.

Alternatives to the Marine Park proposal were discussed. Enforcement of existing regulations and management tools were required to solve the problems on the west coast.

Follow Up
Ken advised the Working Group had voted on extending the submission period by six months. Of the 16 members of the Working Group the vote was split into thirds. The Working Group have agreed to extend the period by one month only.

A request has been put to the Working Group for the details of the vote, names and which way they voted. There is some concern not all members of the Working Group voted and what time period was discussed.

David Cunliffe, MP and co-sponsor of this project, assured us on 15th May 2003 the six-month extension will apply to this proposal.

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