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Alert #3- 22 February 2003
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Tiritiri Matangi Marine Reserve Proposal

Dear [ supporter ]

The New Zealand Underwater Association is proposing a marine reserve in the waters around Tiritiri Matangi Island and the Whangaparoa Peninsula in the Hauraki Gulf. They want to "ensure that the views of the community are widely discussed before a formal application for a marine reserve is made".

To that end they are seeking your views and comments on the proposal. They have set the 28th February as their deadline for your views to be expressed.

Late breaking news: On 25 February NZUA extended the deadline for submissions to 31 March 2003.

To be heard. Please click here

Again, we see the Christmas period being selected for a public consultation process.

Again, we find ourselves a with short time frames to consider proposals that, if carried through to their intended outcome, will deny the public the right to fish for food FOREVER in one of our most productive, accessible and sheltered public fishing areas.

Again, we learn about the proposal, NOT from the Proposer, but from the concerned locals who have had to mobilise urgently to spread the word and alert people like NZRFC, NZBGFC and option4 (even though NZ Underwater are one of the founding National organisations that make up the NZRFC). The men and women of the Tiri Action Group are to be thanked for the many public meetings and rallies they have organised and coordinated, not to mention the thousands of forms they have printed and distributed. Well done. They have underwritten their campaign. If you would like to send a donation to them directly it would be very much appreciated. Their postal address is Tiritiri Action Group, PO Box 36479, Auckland.

Background Information Package.
Assembled here are 10 (and growing) documents and links that are relevant to this proposal. Please make an effort to read some of these documents - in particular, read about the process used by NZUA and Forest and Bird to date and the letter from tangata whenua objecting to NZUA.

Please click here for the Background Information package.

Your Right to Fish for Food.
There is certainly a place for marine reserves. However, it is clear, they need to be implemented carefully with full consideration being given to the existing rights already in place. The talk of marine reserves as a fisheries management tool does not stand close scrutiny. In countries and fisheries with open access and little or no fisheries management they would obviously be beneficial. However, New Zealand has very sophisticated fisheries management tools at its disposal.

There is much to do in finalising the rights of the public to their fisheries to fish for food, giving effect to the customary Maori fisheries management tools of taiapure and mätaitai, fine-tuning of the Quota Management System etc. These are all relatively new tools at our disposal and must be given opportunity to take effect. To start closing areas under the guise of fisheries management is patently out of step with the huge investment this country and you, the taxpayers have made to ensure sustainable fishing.

Tangata whenua have powerful fisheries management tools that have yet to be given expression. Taiapure/mätaitai and rahui are the only existing legislated mechanisms for us to work with to bring localised fisheries management energy and initiative to bear. The NZUA proposal cuts right across those management rights and tools before they are given opportunity to be explored. Make no mistake; there is tremendous potential in taiapure for all of us. If you would like to know more about taiapure click here.

There is no doubt that an integrated and coordinated approach needs to be made to achieve a meaningful network of marine reserves. This is the latest proposal in what will no doubt be a series of piecemeal initiatives. It is not good enough for NZU to state this proposal would form part of a "nice little chain of marine reserves." We are not after a "nice", we would like to see a well planned and fully consulted approach so the objectives are achieved and enjoyed by the public. Hopefully the review of the Marine Reserve Act will pay attention to the need for coordination.

The areas being proposed are of poor water quality. They are adjacent to large-scale land use and development that results in the very unfortunate sedimentation and degradation of those waters. Read the submission in the Background Information package to understand the sewerage situation.

There has been little or no targeted consultation with the recognised voices of the public fisher (NZRFC, NZBGFC and option4). NZ Underwater must have known that the public fishing for food stands to loose most from this proposal. If there is overwhelming adverse public reaction the proposition is abandoned. Your right to fish for food in this area is being threatened. It is time for you to have your say.

To be heard, please click here



Regards from the team at option4

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