Kermadec/Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary
Govt to delay Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill (14 Sept 2016)
The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill is being delayed, after talks with Māori fishing representatives broke down and the ACT Party pulled its support. Te Ohu Kaimoana, which represents iwi fishing interests, said the government had rejected compromises to the bill creating the huge marine sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands.
The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, pictured along with other large marine protected areas in the Pacific.A map showing the planned Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, along with other large marine protected areas in the Pacific. Photo: Ministry for the Environment
After days of negotiations, it had walked away from the table - and would continue legal action in the High Court and Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of iwi.
Prime Minister John Key said the government still had the numbers to pass the legislation, but would delay the bill's passage until a solution was found.
"We're absolutely sure we can get the numbers with the Greens but we're very disappointed that negotiations with [Te Ohu Kaimoana] have broken down at this point."
The government would restart discussions with the Māori Party to see whether it would support the bill, he said.
"The Bill introduced today is set down for first reading this month and is intended to be referred to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee for public submissions, with the ambition of being passed so that the sanctuary can come into effect on 1 November 2016."
From New Zealand Government Consultation Document (January 2016):
The area is one of the most geologically diverse in the world. It contains the world’s longest chain of submerged volcanoes and the second deepest ocean trench with a depth of 10 kilometres. To date, the isolation of the area and the depth of water have ensured a very low level of human impact, but increased activity in fishing, seabed mining and the spread of pollution across the world’s oceans makes it important to protect these globally significant pristine areas.
From the Ministry of the Environment website:
The Government will be introducing legislation to Parliament to enact the new sanctuary with the intention to have it in place by 1 October 2016. The sanctuary follows the establishment in 1990 of the Kermadec Marine Reserve which consists of 7500 square kilometres. The marine reserve extends 12 nautical miles from the cliffs and boulder beaches of the various Kermadec Islands and rocks, out to the edge of the territorial sea.
From stuff.co.nz website (29 Sept 2015):
A vast stretch of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone is being turned into an ocean sanctuary in a landmark deal to preserve one of the most pristine and unique environments on earth.
Prime Minister John Key announced the deal in New York Tuesday NZT, and said it would encompass 620,000 km2 in the seas north-east of New Zealand in the Kermadec region.
"The Kermadec Ocean sanctuary will be one of the world's largest and most significant fully-protected areas, preserving important habitats for seabirds, whales and dolphins, endangered marine turtles and thousands of species of fish and other marine life," Key said.
The sanctuary will cover 15 per cent of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone, an area twicee size of our landmass and 50 times the size of our largest national park in Fiordland.
"As well as being home to a wide range of marine species, the Kermadec region is one of the most geographically and geologically diverse areas in the word. It contains the world's longest underwater volcanic arc and he second deepest ocean trench at 10 kilometres deep," Key said.
"...The annual value of fisheries in the region [estimated] to be about $165,000 from a 20.1 million tonne catch. That's a fraction of New Zealand's annual fishing exports of $1.44 billion." - http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fishing-mining-interests-kermadec-sanctuary-wont-attract-compensation-b-179358
"those fishers currently operating in FMA10 (the Kermadec Fisheries Management Area) target exclusive economic zone-wide HMS (highly migratory species) stocks that can be taken effectively in other areas." - http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fishing-mining-interests-kermadec-sanctuary-wont-attract-compensation-b-179358
"the exclusion of the area from mining and prospecting would reduce a prospecting permit applied for by Nautilus Minerals NZ by about 44%, though, because the application was still under review, officials could work with the company to revise the prospect area." - http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fishing-mining-interests-kermadec-sanctuary-wont-attract-compensation-b-179358
The government is aiming to pass legislation to create the marine reserve next year . - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34387945
New Zealand Department of Conservation – Kermadec Marine Reserve: http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/marine-and-coastal/marine-protected-areas/marine-reserves-a-z/kermadec/facts/