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Friday
Aug212015

Reihana Reacts on 'Coro. Heritage Region'

Reihana Robinson has put out a presser this morning  on behalf of the Upper Coromandel Landcare Association (UCLA) - the group of famers that own the majority of the non-DoC land in that area, that clearly puts a line in the sand in regard to the reponse from that end of the Peninsula to the Coromandel Heritage Region proposal.

The prominance given in the Report to the highly controversial establishment of a 'possum-proof fence' across the Peninsula is simply 'red-rag to the bull,' and alone will ensure that the Report comes in for a severe buffeting.

Reihana makes some good points that will resonate with a considerable number of rate-payers who will feel that this is just another sneaky 'back-door' measure that will adversely affect their land rights, and impose foreign controls: 

“While sounding attractive and providing a marketing tool for the tourism sector, an official IUCN designation would provide with certainty the legal basis for countless potential rules, obligations, restrictions and heavy cost burdens affecting individuals and communities up and down the peninsula for decades to come."

and:

“Tourism marketing agencies and foreign NGOs have no business driving the legislative and regulatory framework for our communities, defining our futures, and shaping our unique social and cultural development,”

Reihana has done some research that has revealed the following: 

"The IUCN, known until recently as the World Conservation Union, is involved in lobbying, advocacy and field projects worldwide, with a stated mission of influencing governmental policies on environmental management.  The NGO has observer status at the United Nations, head offices in Switzerland, and facilities in over 45 countries."

What is indisputable is that the proposal was introduced through a "closed door" session of the Economic Development Committee that has become the vehicle of choice for all of Mayor Leach's proposals. There was absolutely no justification for this subterfuge, and it reflects badly on the entire administration of this Council - a matter that needs to be widely aired before the next election when Deputy Mayor French puts his reputation on the line. He has been notably silent on any issue led by Leach.

There are other issues that I will deal with in a later post, but in the meantime, it is clear that Leach and Chris Adams won't have quite the smooth transition to acceptance that they may have imagined when they came up with what is a very professionally produced, glossy document.   

 

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Reader Comments (2)

Here is Reihana's Presser:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21 AUGUST 2015


Conservation Group To Oppose
New Heritage Framework


A leading Coromandel conservation group has announced it will challenge any government effort to introduce an overseas-directed regime for management of the peninsula’s unique natural environment and cultural assets.

The Upper Coromandel Landcare Association (UCLA), which represents residents who manage and own thousands of hectares of private land on the northern peninsula, indicated this week its opposition to a proposal from a tourism marketing consultancy and the mayor of Thames-Coromandel District to seek official landscape status under rules of the International Union of Conservation in Nature (IUCN).

The IUCN, known until recently as the World Conservation Union, is involved in lobbying, advocacy and field projects worldwide, with a stated mission of influencing governmental policies on environmental management. The NGO has observer status at the United Nations, head offices in Switzerland, and facilities in over 45 countries.

The proposal, headlined as “Heritage Region”, was unveiled at a closed-door workshop on August 18 for invited representatives of Thames-Coromandel District and Waikato Regional councils, DOC, government, tourism and iwi. It seeks official peninsula-wide designation as an IUCN Category V Protected Landscape, rules of which would guide the region’s long-term planning and future policies.

UCLA spokeperson Reihana Robinson announced the Coromandel group’s opposition after review of a 54-page ”feasibility report and recommendations” and 12-page “public summary” prepared with discretionary mayoral budget funds by the regional general manager of Miles Marketing Destinations, a global tourism marketing agency based in Sarasota, Florida.

“Tourism marketing agencies and foreign NGOs have no business driving the legislative and regulatory framework for our communities, defining our futures, and shaping our unique social and cultural development,” Robinson said.

“While sounding attractive and providing a marketing tool for the tourism sector, an official IUCN designation would provide with certainty the legal basis for countless potential rules, obligations, restrictions and heavy cost burdens affecting individuals and communities up and down the peninsula for decades to come.

“Worse still, official status under IUCN rules would take our long tradition of local, democratic decision-making in Thames, Coromandel and Whitianga and send it to New York and Europe for final approval,” Robinson said. “That is far, far from our real Coromandel heritage.”

Robinson confirmed that residents representing nearly 6,000 hectares around the Moehau Range, along with landowners and others across the Coromandel, have already expressed their opposition to the IUCN landscape proposal.

“Coromandel people have worked long and hard, in some instances for generations, to successfully protect and enhance our environment and traditional way of life. That’s why we enjoy the iconic landscapes and lush bush that so many others come to experience. And we have done so, and can continue to do so, under the existing legislative framework of national and regional planning and policies.”

“UCLA intends to actively oppose the proposed designation through all available channels and mechanisms.”

CONTACT: Reihana Robinson/ (07) 866-6620/ reihana.robinson@xtra.co.nz

August 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Reihana's post ought to alert readers and residents to the danger of the proposal being floated.
Business growth is all very fine and dandy, but in proposing a vehicle for further visitor interest and, potentially, increasing [significantly] visitor numbers, comes the danger - too many visitors. Our built infrastructure and natural resources have a limited capacity to absorb the 'parking bus emissions' and the 'trampling feet' effects that so often detract from [perceived] successful visitor destinations. The very thing that people come to see is degraded by their visit.
Our elected representatives have a fairly fine line to walk - it might be as well for them to take a leaf out of DoC's book and invest modestly [pragmatic decision making on DoC's part notwithstanding] so that the effects might be gauged and the down-side effects mitigated, if such be possible.
The other point that is very relevant, is the [highly] likely imposition of yet another layer of 'requirements' and consequent costs that will be implicit within the IUCN proposal. Reihana makes the point that we have all managed to achieve what we have already achieved within the existing legislative frameworks. Yet more rules, requirements and costs will not be helpful - of that there can be little doubt.
It seems to me that TCDC ought to seek a mandate, through an election or a referendum, before they run much further with this scheme.

August 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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