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option4 Update #12 Dec 2001

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Minister says No Consensus
18 December 2001

Dear [ subscriber ]

The Minister says "…no consensus yet on the best way to protect recreational rights in the future"

Last month in Update # 11 we wrote -
"Despite the fact that option4 delivered over 61,000 submissions (which accounted for a staggering 98.5% of all submissions received in response to the consultation process), despite the fact that the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council both fully support the four principles of option4, it appears the Minister considers there is not sufficient consensus within the recreational sector for him to move forward with what he calls "Recreational Fishing Reforms". option4 simply cannot believe that such a clear and concise outcome can be construed as a lack of consensus.

Today (1/12/01) we read the following statement in the Minister's press release -
"The Soundings consultation process showed that New Zealanders are passionate about recreational fishing but there is no consensus yet on the best way to protect recreational rights in the future" says the Minister.

What then, we must ask, is this consensus we keep hearing about? option4 are quite clear - the public of New Zealand has achieved an unprecedented degree of consensus. Where does the Ministers statement "there is no consensus yet" leave us to go? What do he and his Ministry expect the public to do now?

option4 is clear where we need to go. We need to continue to stand up collectively for our, and our children's, heritage to make sure that those who would attack our rights to fish for food know that they have a fight on their hands.

There are several imminent decisions this Minister has to make, not the least of which is what to do with the estimates of public snapper catch (Apparently the public take of snapper is more than double the amount they have currently allowed for us). As the 1996 Fisheries Act clearly states, the Minister "shall allow for" recreational take. option4 believes this means the Minister should allow for the full amount of recreational and sustenance take. If he chooses not to, he is likely to find out once more just how much consensus there is in the recreational sector.

There is clear evidence that the agenda being pursued by Ministry is for the public sustenance fisher to accept a proportional share. We all know what that means - a privatised public fishery equals a collective right instead of our current individual right. Make no mistake, it will be a weaker right if the bureaucrats get their way. This collective right will be doomed to continual erosion. We will find ourselves becoming minor shareholders in a set of industrial fisheries that are obviously more focused on export dollars than recreational fishing opportunities.

option4 draws much of its strength and support from its ongoing focus on the absolute need to clearly define the priority right of the public over the fishing industry to harvest seafood from the marine environment.

Thanks for your responses and support so far.
option4 Update # 11 generated a great response from the public. The email version of Update # 11 saw over 20% of the recipients responding. 94.5% responded YES to both Questions 1 & 2.
1. "Should option4 mount a legal challenge based on human rights issues?"
2. "Should option4 employ a fisheries scientist to act in a watchdog role until the rights issue is resolved?"

A big thank you to all those of you who have offered to assist when and where necessary and to those who have made donations or pledges.

If you support what option4 is striving to protect on your behalf, remember, we cannot win without the support of the public who fish for food and recreation. We are very fortunate to have organisations like Chester's Plumbing Supplies who have already pledged a minimum of $3,500 to the Fighting Fund. Please give generously to the fighting fund. Post your contribution NOW to PO Box 37951, Parnell.

"What's New" postings to the site since the last Update


The Cabinet Paper and the Minute of the FIN Committee decisions is being data entered as we speak and will be on the site within the next day or two.

Reed Publishing support for option4.
Thankyou to all of you who have taken advantage of the Reed special offer on the "Blue Planet" offer. The response has been so good that Reed have seen fit to add another great new book to their offer. Mark Kitteridge's latest masterpiece "Hook Up On Kingfish" is there for you at a never to be repeated option4 special price of $29.95 (RRP - $34.95). Be in for Christmas - be in for the future of your fisheries. https://www.reeddirect.co.nz/option4blueplanet
PS - What an excellent read.

The option4 team wish you the best for Christmas and summer.

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