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NZFN Update April 2003

Dear [ supporter ]

option4 Update # 26 - April 2003 Fishing News

Rights Reform Process - Reference Group Meetings
Officials and public fisher representatives have now met twice. It seems we are making progress with the Ministry. Comprehensive notes are being made of these meetings with an agreement that all information is to be available to the public. The next meeting will be crucial - next months Update will focus on the outcomes of these meetings. By then, there will be a complete history of this phase of the public fishing rights reform process online at

Marine Reserves
The Volkner Rocks, Tiritiri Matangi and Fiordland proposals all share one very disturbing process flaw - proposals that are intended to last indefinitely being given very brief time frames for public consultation. Those responsible for these initiatives are only allowing about 12 weeks for the public to become aware of the facts. Combine this with Christmas and there is almost no time for you to tune in. Before you know it, the deadline is up and your opinions are no longer required. The simple truth is that least 6 months is required to get the very necessary round of public meetings and background information out to you and then allow time for you to react. Clubs require lots of time to achieve an agreed position statement. National organisations need even longer. Those of you who simply fish for food and don't belong to clubs etc often miss the first notifications. The result - disappointed people who feel they have been ignored. The most vital ingredient of a successful marine reserve surely has to be strong public support. The process currently being employed to consult hardly serves this purpose.

Soon we are to see applications or proposals launched for yet more large areas of the Hauraki Gulf - the north east coast of Great Barrier (very large area by all accounts) and the Noisies (apparently). Biodiversity Strategy and Marine Reserve new initiative funding has been provided for at least six other proposals. Those responsible must give the public more time to get organised - unless, perhaps, they don't want an organised public feedback/opinion!

Meanwhile the review of the Parliamentary select committee for Local Government and the Environment is about to hear submissions to the Marine Reserve Act 2002. The submissions made by NZRFC, NZBGFC and MTA are on site for your perusal.

It is obvious, even at this very early stage, that there is a need for a well-coordinated approach to the creation of Marine Reserves. They need to be taken into account in the broader context of other spatial controls, e.g. existing Marine Reserves, no fishing/no anchoring cable zones and shipping channels, Aquaculture Management Areas (AMA's), taiapure/mataitai areas being planned etc. To propose Marine Reserves in an area where land usage/development is producing a degrading effect upon the sea does not make sense. The ad hoc, piecemeal approach being taken to date is not satisfactory. It is vital that Marine Reserves are in the right places, for the right reasons. Remember, they have no expiry date. What's the hurry? Political agendas and ill-conceived and unjustified goals of 10% etc. Lets get it right and not burden our children with unnecessary closures.

Some fascinating articles are now online at Dr Floor Anthoni offers insight as to why many of the existing Marine Reserves are not working while the Americans work on new legislation to add sanity to the worldwide movement to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPA's)

Tiritiri Matangi Marine Reserve Proposal from New Zealand Underwater.
The Tiri Action Group have done an awesome job of bringing this proposal out into the open - the New Zealand Underwater Association could take a leaf out of TAG's book on how to bring about real public awareness and consultation. Please, don't hesitate, send those guys a cheque right now. Show them you appreciate their efforts C/o Tiritiri Action Group, PO Box 600, Whangaparoa.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to 31/3/03. Please go online to option4 to access a growing list of Background Information documents and the easy to use submission-making tool. Look under the heading "Marine Reserves".

Guardians of Fiordland Proposals
Those of you who have asked for a copy of the proposal from the Guardians are out of luck. option4 have been sent 10 copies and have been asked to decide who "warrants" a copy. Those who accepted the invitation to submit and requested a copy of the Discussion Document miss out - fairly typical of the way these "public consultations" are being conducted.

Subscribers to the online option4 Updates.
DATABASE IS CRITICAL. The first time we met with the Minister of Fisheries he made the statement that "an organised recreational fishing lobby was an oxymoron" (an oxymoron is defined as a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as in cruel kindness or deafening silence). Now that is a challenge. The letter of consensus signed by NZRFC, NZBGFC, and option4 in December goes a long way towards securing an organised recreational fishing lobby. The DATABASE of option4 supporters is certainly delivering a strong, clear message to the various situations/proposals that threaten to undermine our right to fish for food. Now is the time for us to really get organised. Please make an effort to subscribe to the Updates and Alerts online - it costs nothing and allows you to bring friends and family into the debate. Go to and register yourself, use the Promote A Friend tool to bring your friends and family into the loop.

Strength is in numbers and YOUR numbers are growing daily. Your right to fish for food is constantly being threatened, keep up to date.

Chester's Plumbing Supplies
Grant Chester, Allan Radcliff and the staff have done it again. Their annual fishing contest was held recently and they put on a great day. Through their generosity option4 has the resources to continue to represent the public who go fishing for food. They do this year after year. If you need plumbing supplies show your support to this company who has supported option4 from day one Thankyou Chester's Plumbing Supplies


Regards from the team at option4

[ footing ]