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Wednesday
Jul262017

Wilson's Bay "Exempted From National Environmental Standard Proposal"

Here is the poposal put out just a week ago by DPI for the "Proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture"

About the proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing primary sectors in the world and an opportunity for national and regional economic growth in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation is proposing a National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture (NES). 

The proposal aims to:

  • address variations and regional inconsistencies in processing replacement permit applications for existing marine farms
  • reduce New Zealand’s exposure to biosecurity risks
  • enable better use of space within existing marine farms
  • Improve environmental outcomes.

Government agencies have worked with an expert reference group to provide advice on and test the proposed NES. The reference group includes members of local government, the aquaculture industry, Te Ohu Kaimoana, and environmental organisations. Feedback from this consultation will be used to further refine the proposal. A decision on the proposed NES will be made in 2018.

Have your say

To find out more about the proposed NES and provide feedback, see Proposed national environmental standard for marine aquaculture on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Public consultation closes on 8 August 2017.  A series of public meetings and hui will be held as part of the consultation. 

And here is the response provided to Bill Brownell from Kaiaua, the marine scientist who has provided the most consistent and reasoned objections to the proposal at and above Wilson's Bay on the Gulf, when he questioned why such little notice and publicity had been provided for the submissions:

Dear Mr Brownell

I am sorry to hear you have not heard as much about the consultation on the proposed national environmental standard for marine aquaculture as you would have liked. I completely understand your concern and desire to take part in the consultation process.

I can assure you we are undertaking a genuine consultation process, and we are very interested to hear your views and those of other concerned citizens within your circle. As part of this process we are welcoming written submissions on the proposals from everyone, and have been holding public meetings, hui with iwi and targeted meetings with various stakeholder groups (including councils) around the country.

We advertised the consultation process and public meeting schedule through the usual channels we use with other public consultation processes. Unfortunately the proposal did not attract any media attention, which may have limited how far the message has spread. Nonetheless we have had good engagement through some of the public meetings.

We are keen to ensure you are well informed and in a position to make a submission on the proposal should you choose to. Broadly, the proposed national environmental standard for marine aquaculture is about implementing a more consistent and efficient replacement consenting process for existing marine farms, and implementing a nationally consistent approach to biosecurity management of all marine farms (existing and new). It doesn’t address the creation of new aquaculture space.

An important thing to note in your part of the country is that the Waikato Wilsons Bay aquaculture management zones are exempted from the proposal. This is because there has been a lengthy planning process to date and we want to preserve the work of the community, council and industry that went into that planning process.

To give you an overview of the proposal you can find a summary here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/18410

And you can find the full discussion document here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/18407

Our website also has more information on the proposal and how to make a submission: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/proposed-national-environmental-standard-for-marine-aquaculture/

If you have any questions you think could be answered by phone or email, please feel free to call me on 04 894 3402, or reply to this email. Note I will be out of the office on Wednesday 26 July, but otherwise you can generally reach me.

I am based in Nelson, but a member of our team works in Whangarei, and if you want to discuss the possibility of arranging a specific meeting with you, please be in touch.

Kind regards,

Finn.                    

Finn Sumner | Aquaculture Analyst, AquacultureUnit                                                                     Economic Development & Partnerships | Sector PartnershipsndProgrammes                                      Ministry for Primary Industries - Manatū Ahu Matua | 118 Vickerman St Nelson

So that is the picture - Wilson's Bay is a 'done deal,' and consultation closed.

We in this District who have serious objections to the proposal to marine farming in this District in a manner that can only be described in terms of 'dirty aquacultue' are shut out of the discussions surrounding the new National Standards.

That is a disgrace, and our Member of Parliament, particularly in his new environmental role should be held to account for allowing this to happen. Bill Brownell of all people probably knows more about the adverse effects of marine farming than anyone currently employed within DPI, or our Regional Council, and his potentially valuable contribution is thereby sidelined in exactly the same way as happened during the hearings of the 'Expert Committe' that sat momentarily at Coromandel, ostensibly to seek local input and evidence

Submissions that were contrary to what gave every appearance of being a pre-determined position by the Committee were disregarded, and downplayed in its Report. It now appears that those who may have wished to make submissions from this District during this next phase would be wasting their time - Nothing will emerge that will in any way further hinder the expansion of substantial marine farms into the Gulf, regardless of the risks recently demonstrated in the Marlborough Sounds. And incentives will be put in place to ensure that any reluctance is overcome. International players who well know the effects of their activities will probably 'take the bait.'

Residents of this District, not just Coromandel where economic benefit tends to mute the reaction, should watch the outcome very carefully, and provide submissions on the overall policy if they are in a position to do so. The future health of the Gulf may depend on it.                         

 

 

 

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