Achieved and Working
Dear [ subscriber ]
2003 has seen some major
progress in the fishing for food debate. We have made some ground
with the Minister and his officials, the recreational representatives
are speaking with a united voice and we have been responding to
the call for action over marine reserves. Apologies for not producing
an update for the past few months, the option4 team have been very
busy. Regular updates are in the NZ Fishing News, so if you miss
out online check out the biggest fishing magazine in New Zealand.
Progress in 2003
The good news is recreational fishers are now represented by a united
group comprising the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC),
New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council (NZBGFC) and option4. All three
groups signed a letter of consensus in December 2002 and agreed
on a set of principles as below -
- Principles developed during the Soundings process.
- Preference to non-commercial fishing as guaranteed by the cornerstone
statement in the 1989 Recreational Fishing Policy.
- Need for legislative reform to implement the principles and
preference statement and to ensure the public sector is adequately
resourced to be an effective contributor to fisheries management.
- Rejection of the capped proportional share concept.
- The requirement for improved information
The full letter can be read
here » »
The consensus letter was sent to the Minister in anticipation of
meeting him on Monday 16th December 2002. The consensus letterhead
has been used twice since, both times requesting time extensions
for submission preparation- both were successful.
Reference Group Meetings
The December meeting with the Minister and his officials was very
useful for clarifying the process to date and where we move from
here. The Minister was very clear he wanted the reform process to
continue and officials acknowledged their part in failing to make
progress. The Minister explained he does not want to continue pouring
resources into the discussions if there was no positive outcome
- we couldn't agree with him more. Recreational representatives
were very clear in wanting Moyle's
Promise honoured, as previously agreed.
The cornerstone statement in this reads
'…to ensure recreational users have access to a reasonable
share of fishery resources. Government's position is clear, where
a species of fish is not sufficiently abundant to support both commercial
and non-commercial fishing, preference will be given to non-commercial
fishing. This position reflects Government's resolve to ensure all
New Zealanders can enjoy and benefit from our fisheries.'
There have been several meetings this year with a smaller group
of recreational and Ministry staff, this is referred to as the Reference
Group. It has been agreed the process will be broken into stages,
and discussions will only continue if each stage is successful.
Minutes are being taken during these meetings and will be available
online as soon as they are made available to us. option4 are adamant
we are not going to be dragged into another process where discussions
are held behind closed doors. This process is totally transparent
and will be fully reported as the process continues.
Currently the reform timeline has been revised to include outcomes
from Reference Group discussions. It is expected that these discussions
will continue through to April this year. Ministry officials will
then report back to the Minister and cabinet on the outcome and
a preferred reform option. If this option is approved there will
be another round of public consultation from July to October 2003.
If there is any legislative change required it is anticipated this
will occur in 2004. A select committee will need to consider any
change to legislation. The earliest occurrence of any legislative
change would be November 2004. This could be good news for the government
as they head into election year in 2005.
This is the most progress we have made in over a year. Lets hope
this continues. Our representatives are very clear in wanting a
priority right for those fishing for food to be able to catch a
reasonable daily bag limit.
Marine Reserve Alerts
In response to concerns being expressed by those online option4
have produced three Alerts to date. The alerts have focused on the
Volkner Rocks, Fiordland and Tiritiri Matangi Island. We have had
an awesome response from online supporters and the comments coming
through have been outstanding. Thank you to all those who took the
time to respond.
It proves the power of our online network. If you have anyone you
know that would want to keep up to date with developments sign
them up here
The network is growing daily and the chance to have your say is
made easy by simple response forms that only take a few minutes
to fill out. Bring your friends and family into the loop so they
can have their say.
Those organisations proposing marine reserves need to know the public
of New Zealand will not sit by and watch our prime fishing areas
taken away purely to fulfil government policy of 10% marine protected
areas without proper public consultation and the science to support
If you have any comments, suggestions or concerns email
Support from Chester's Plumbing Supplies
Grant Chester, Allan Radcliff and the staff have done it again.
Their annual fishing contest was in February and they put on a great
day. Proceeds from the day have been generously donated to the option4
Fighting Fund. This assistance allows option4 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 have supported option4 from day one.
Thank you Chester's Plumbing Supplies
Check out the following links to learn more
Latest comments from supporters
Marine reserve issues
Tiri Action Group submission to NZUA re a marine reserve in Whangaparaoa
- download the pdf
The Minister's response to the Consensus
letter » »
from Ministry of Fisheries - interesting perspective on our right
To order bumper stickers
Regards from the team at option4