Date: 29 November 2013
A total of 58 nominations have been received for the Otago Marine Protection Planning Forum, representing widespread interests and a good geographic spread.
Most of the nominations were received from the wider Dunedin area, but some came from Oamaru, Ashburton, the Catlins, Balclutha, Tapanui, Temuka, Wanaka, Nelson, Blenheim and Wellington.
The Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Partnerships Director for South and Eastern South Island, Barry Hanson, said DOC and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) were pleased with the calibre of nominations received.
“These nominees have a strong interest and connections with marine matters, and will bring to the forum knowledge, practical experience and links to many relevant organisations and groups,” Mr Hanson said. “It is especially heartening to receive several nominations from some young people.”
“From these nominations, I’m confident we’ll bring together a forum that is passionate about looking after our unique coastline for future generations.”
Nominations were received from Ngai Tahu, a partner in the process, as well as from interested parties such as commercial and recreational fishers, recreational users, marine scientists, the tourism sector, conservation groups, local government and local community groups.
The 14-member forum (including the chairperson) is community-led and jointly supported by DOC and MPI. Recommendations will be made by local people taking into account local needs.
Once the forum is established, it will engage and consult with interested users and stakeholders to build a consensus and come up with recommendations on marine protection. It will identify where protected areas should be and what level and type of protection is most appropriate for each area.
The forum will focus on the coastline between Timaru and Waipapa Point.
From the nominations received, DOC and MPI will provide recommendations on forum membership to the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Primary Industries for endorsement. The chairperson will be appointed by the Ministers. Ministers will make an announcement on the forum’s members and chairperson by the end of the year.
Once the forum is established, interested users and stakeholders can have their say about marine protection in Otago through the community consultation process. The forum will consult widely with local communities and interest groups on their views about marine protection for the southern part of the South Island’s east coast.
Technical support, information and advice will be provided to the forum by DOC and MPI.
The forum is expected to make its recommendation to the Ministers of Conservation and Primary Industries in two years on the location and types of marine protected areas that should be established in the Otago region.
It will follow the successful models of the forums which have made recommendations for marine protection in areas such as the West Coast and the Sub Antarctic Islands.
+64 3 474 6905 or +64 27 22 22 735