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option4 Update #53 NZFN Mar 2005

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NZ Fishing News
March 2005


This article was originally published in the New Zealand Fishing News April 2005 edition.


Long-standing supporters of option4, Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre New Lynn, delivered the ultimate challenge to other businesses to match or better their effort when they gladly donated $3000 to the option4 Fighting Fund on February 19th. This money was proceeds from the auction of fish caught during the annual Chesters Fishing Contest. Not stopping there they also gave a similar amount to the Manukau Volunteer Coastguard in recognition of their contribution to keeping us safe when out on the water.

Outstanding Result

Chesters generosity was only exceeded by the quality of fish weighed during the contest. Alan Radcliffe and the team have put in a lot of effort over the years to educate and encourage people to look after the fish they catch, this resulted in the surprising outcome of two live snapper brought in to the weigh station. The Challenge was for the option4 representatives Paul Barnes and Trish Rea, who were doing the weigh-in duties, to actually gauge the weight of two very mobile fish. Needless to say the two people who brought these fish in won the best-presented award for their effort.


Kahawai Legal Challenge

Also in attendance at the tournament was Jason Foord representing the Kahawai Legal Challenge. Jason did a great job in getting in amongst the contestants giving them the detail of what the Legal Challenge is all about, answering questions and gathering commitment from people to raise funds using the Kahawai Challenge Support Pack. Including the sale of t-shirts over $500 was raised in one afternoon from the same crowd who were bidding for the auctioned fish.

A big thank you to Alan, Chesters Plumbing and all those who attended the event and made it a success. Please support Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre if you need to buy any plumbing gear, they have stores in New Lynn, Silverdale, Albany, Ellerslie and on the Hibiscus Coast.


Bouquet for MFish Compliance Management

In response to a challenge regarding the introduction contained in the Coastwatch programme screened on television, the Ministry of Fisheries Compliance managers agreed to remove the flawed reference to entire species being on the "brink of extinction". Their prompt, same day response and that of the Coastwatch producers resulted in the programme's introduction being amended the following week. option4 appreciate the Ministry's timely acknowledgement of our concerns and their subsequent action.


Marine Protected Areas – Policy Statement, Principles and Implementation

We had difficulty taking this proposal seriously. It is a top down directive from Cabinet to the bureaucracies entrusted to look after the environment which entails all local and regional bodies, including the Department of Conservation.

This plan is NOT about consultation – its only purpose is to fast track marine reserves in the absence of an updated Marine Reserves Act or an Oceans Policy being promulgated in an orderly and democratic manner.

It ignores the rangitiratanga and kaitiakitanga roles and responsibilities of Maori.

Discussion and resolution of over 100 major concerns about marine conservation is not part of the agenda. It is only about where to put the nail when you have a hammer. This plan is all about the hammer.

We are still working on our submission and you will hear from us – be assured that we will not allow you to be sold out by such a blatantly undemocratic process.


Ministerial Advisory Panel

After much discussion option4 have decided to nominate several people to participate in the proposed Ministerial Advisory Panel. To not have representation amongst the six panelists is to leave the Minister, Ministry and the panel to go ahead without consulting with a wider audience. As much as we consider this initiative to be another diversion away from the real challenge facing non-commercial fishers – the kahawai court case, the outcome of discussion has been that there are more advantages to being part of the process than not participating at all.


Meeting with the Minister

Since David Benson-Pope became the Minister of Fisheries over a year ago option4 have been asking for a meeting with him. We finally had the opportunity to meet with him in Wellington at the beginning of February. Unfortunately due to fog at Wellington airport we had to cancel our flight. We look forward to our inaugural meeting very soon.

In the meantime, please feel free to review the document that seeks to summarise much of the injustice that lies at the heart of the current paralysis of effective fisheries management. Until these injustices are acknowledged and resolved it is hard to see a clear pathway forward. We hope the Minister appreciates how serious the public are about this. The document also contains some suggested "pathways out of the maze" Please go here » »


Our Challenge

2005 is shaping up to be a busy year. If you feel you can make a difference and help us be more effective there are several ways you can help. Your energy and commitment is most desirable. If you would like to discuss ways you can help please call on 09 8186205 or email contact@option4.co.nz . Financial contributions are most welcome, these can be made online at or via NZ Fishing News. Your ongoing support and input is valuable, please don't wait until it is too late, act now.



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