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option4 Update #30 August 2003

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Rights and Marine Protection Issues
August 2003

Dear [ subscriber ]


Progress towards securing a strong public right to fish for food.
The Reference Group, made up of representatives from NZRFC, NZBGFC and option4 have now met with officials from the Ministry of Fisheries 6 times. Last month saw a three day workshop focused entirely on giving effect to the Principles that the recreational fishing sector have achieved consensus on – read the Letter of Consensus December 2002.

A highlight of the work done by the Reference Group has been the degree of unity and common goals being demonstrated by all involved. Strong criteria are being developed to assist the Minister in his allocation decisions. The “area right” discussion has emphasised the inadequacies of the current disputes resolution processes in the Fisheries Act (s311) and the “planning right” discussions at last see the Ministry understanding what is required to empower the public to contribute to sustainable management of our fisheries. Certainly, the need for specific tools for managing vulnerable intertidal fisheries is acknowledged. As for the public being able to conserve fish whilst not having those same fish allocated to the fishing industry, this will take considerable time and effort to achieve.

The delegates at the NZRFC AGM held in Blenheim in July, elected Bill Cronin from New Zealand Angling and Casting Association and Scott Macindoe from option4 onto the NZRFC executive board. Long serving executive member Warren Lewis was also re-elected. Kevin Moratti (from Taranaki) stepped down after several years of solid contribution whilst hard working and very diligent board member Sheryl Hart (from Raglan) confirmed her ongoing commitment to the Council even though not re-elected this year.

The AGM was, as usual a good opportunity to come up to date on the many issues facing the public in our fisheries. Next month, a more comprehensive report. The Minister of Fisheries, Pete Hodgson attended the AGM – his speech can be read online.

Great Barrier Island marine reserve - “Drop In” meetings
The Department of Conservation held two “drop in” meetings during July. The first was at DoC’s office at North Head, the other at Tamaki Drive. Only 12 members of the public turned up at North Head – an accurate reflection of the totally inadequate effort made by DoC to notify the public of the meeting.

The Tamaki Drive meeting saw 35 people “drop in”, most as a result of learning of the event through a last minute option4 “Notice of Meeting”. This form of meeting is unsatisfactory – in fact quite dysfunctional. It is not as if they (DoC) were not asked to do it properly – please read the address option4 made to the Auckland Conservation Board and DoC on 26/6/03 – ignored as usual.

Many who attended the meetings strongly objected to DoC’s tactics to move this proposal forward without consulting widely enough. Full meeting reports can be found at the background info page. Now that the submission period has concluded we await the results of the analysis of submissions. We will keep you informed on developments.

Auckland Conservation Board
The next meeting of the ACB is on Thursday 28th August. The public are welcome to attend the meeting at the Auckland Conservancy office on the corner of Karangahape Rd and Liverpool Street in the city.

Tawharanui marine reserve proposal
A proposal has been put forward by the Auckland Regional Council to change the status of Tawharanui Marine Park to a marine reserve. Last date for submissions is Friday 22nd August 2003. Call Alan Moore at ARC on 09 3794420 for a copy of the proposal and a submission form or go online to read the full document, option4 response and download a submission form.

A BIG thank you
To all those people who have sent in money, cheques, provided goods and their valuable time, thank you. Without you we would not be able to continue to work to secure your right to fish for food. Your contribution is so valuable, not only to us but it also has obvious impacts on our future generations ability to continue to fish for a reasonable daily bag limit. Due to increasing demand option4 now has a secure online donation facility. Some people have already used this service and have started to make a positive contribution to the option4 effort. Thank you. This is available at https://www.safeshop.co.nz/option4/Secure/donations.htm Keep up the good effort.

What’s New
Auckland Conservation Board - a comprehensive package including minutes, submission and option4 input to their meetings at

Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of Fisheries address to the annual conference of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council

Regards from the team at option4

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