June 09, 2014
Akaroa marine reserve opens
The country’s 40th marine reserve opened at the weekend in Akaroa Harbour after a two-decade push by local environmentalists.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith created the 512 hectare reserve in the southeast corner of the harbour on Banks Peninsula over the objections of Ngai Tahu, after his predecessor Kate Wilkinson’s decision to reject the proposal was overturned in court.
Ngai Tahu had sought to manage the harbour through its existing taiapure customary fishing reserve.
Dr Smith said it was a case where Treaty of Waitangi principles should give way to preservation and protection, although he did cut back the northern boundary to take account of customary fishing and recreational interests.
He says the protected status is well deserved, as the scenery surrounding the reserve is some of the most spectacular coastline anywhere in New Zealand with its huge volcanic cliffs, wild sea caves and unusual sea stacks.
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