Half way mark in Oceans consultation: hundreds participate
23 July 2001
More than 700 New Zealanders have attended public meetings and hui on the Oceans Policy; 16,000 submission booklets have been distributed and nearly 300 school packs sent out, as the public consultation process hits the half way mark.
Dame Cath Tizard, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy, which is conducting the consultation, said the committee was pleased by the response so far, but wanted to see that grow exponentially in the second half of the exercise.
"People are taking this consultation - and the issues that it raises - very seriously," Dame Cath said.
"Some of the issues we have been hearing about include the effects of urban development on the natural character of the coast, marine farming, marine reserves, coastal water quality, algae blooms, and the behaviour of foreign fishing vessels.
"We are asking New Zealanders to tell us about their vision and values in relation to the oceans - not an easy thing to communicate, and we are really pleased to see the deep thought that is going into it."
The independent Ministerial Advisory Committee for Oceans Policy will attend more than 50 public meetings and hui from Kaitaia to Stewart Island over the course of the consultation.
At the halfway point the committee has now travelled to 20 centres, including Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands, and has heard from 60 people through the meetings or formal submissions.
The committee has also developed a schools' pack, giving young people an opportunity to have their say. So far, nearly 300 school packs have been requested. The pack can also be downloaded from the website, at www.oceans.govt.nz
The website and 0800 number have also been running hot. With four weeks of the consultation to go, the committee is gearing up for more interest, more challenging questions, and more submissions from the public and stakeholder groups alike.
The deadline for submissions for stage one is August 17, 2001.
For further information on the Oceans Policy and the public meetings in your area call 0800 001461 or check www.oceans.govt.nz