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Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary plan halted – Shane Jones, Penny Simmonds

The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary will not go ahead, with Cabinet deciding to stop work on the proposed reserve and remove the Bill that would have established it from Parliament’s order paper.

“The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill would have created a 620,000 sq km economic no-go zone,” Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says.

“The current marine reserve around the Kermadec Islands extends 12 nautical miles from the shores of the various islands. This area is ample to preserve the unique environment of the marine life that inhabits the region.

“Making 15 per cent of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone a no-go area for Kiwis making their living from the sea, including iwi who received the Kermadecs fishing quota in a 1992 Treaty of Waitangi settlement, makes absolutely no sense,” Mr Jones says.

“This is a Coalition Government focused on driving export-led growth by making the most of New Zealand’s natural resources, whether they are contained on our land or at sea.”

The commercial activities already occurring around the Kermadec Islands pose limited risk to its marine environment because of the current marine reserve and stringent regulations helping mitigate environmentally risky activity, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds says.

“I am confident that the Kermadec Islands, which already have in place a protected marine environment, will continue to flourish without the further expansion of the reserve.”

 

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