March 15, 2016
Support with reservations for Kermadec Sanctuary
The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill has had its first reading with the unanimous support of all parties in parliament but concerns from Maori are still likely to arise at the select committee stage.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says the level of support reflects New Zealand's strong connection to the marine environment.
The sanctuary north of Cape Reinga is twice the land area of New Zealand and is home to six million birds, 35 species of whale and dolphins, three species of turtle, and 150 species of fish, as well as many other unique marine species of corals, shellfish and crabs.
The Local Government and Environment Select Committee aims to report back to Parliament by the start of August, and the Government’s aims to have the new sanctuary in place by November.
ACT leader David Seymour says while the aim of the bill is commendable, it amounts to uncompensated regulatory taking for New Zealand fishing companies with quota there.
Some iwi feel it is an attack on the Maori fisheries settlement and compensation is due.
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