The New Wave in Consulting
28 June 2001
Whakatane: Environment BOP Chambers, Quay Street
Tuesday 3 July, 5.30 pm
A group drawn from an independent Ministerial Advisory Committee and led by Deputy Chair David McDowell, will be visiting Whakatane on Tuesday 3 July to find out what local people value about the coast and oceans.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee for Oceans Policy, consisting of eight members, has been set up to conduct the public consultation. The committee is travelling around the country over the next two months to listen to and report on New Zealanders' values and vision in relation to the oceans.
David McDowell, former Ambassador to the United Nations, said as people of a maritime nation, with the fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, even New Zealanders who don't live by the sea have a deep bond with our oceans.
"Values are about what matters most to New Zealanders about the oceans. 'Vision' concerns how we want our oceans to be for future generations," Mr McDowell said.
"Furthermore the laws that currently relate to the use of the oceans are complicated, piecemeal and contradictory. More coherence is needed in legislation and management. We need an Oceans Policy to help us resolve conflict between different human uses of our oceans.
"The consultation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, along with all other New Zealanders, to have their say on the subject right from the beginning of the policy development process. This is an innovative move.
"By canvassing people at this fundamental level, we can begin to understand what our oceans mean to us as a nation. This will underpin policy development," he said.
"Some of the issues we would expect to come up in Whakatane would be the effects of urban development on the natural character of the coast, fisheries management and conflicts, marine farming, coastal water quality, algae blooms and Treaty claims, " he added.
The committee has more than 50 public meetings and hui scheduled from Kaitaia to Stewart Island over the next seven weeks, which they are encouraging Kiwis to attend. The meetings are designed to inform people about the scope and context of the Oceans Policy values consultation, and to spread the word about the opportunity to contribute.
"Thinking and talking about one's values and vision for the oceans is surprisingly difficult, as we benefit from them in so many ways, and so many of the things we do affect the oceans. That's why we are visiting Whakatane in person, to talk with people. To help stimulate new thinking we have developed a booklet with a guide made up of seven fundamental questions for people to address if that is how they wish to make a submission," Mr McDowell said.
"Alternatively they can concentrate on what seems to them to be the most significant issue for an Oceans Policy to address," he added.
Other elements of the consultation campaign are: a schools' campaign, a website and an 0800 number so people can request a copy of the booklet or details on public meetings.
The consultation is the first stage of a three stage Oceans Policy process. The second stage focuses on designing policies to achieve the vision set out by New Zealanders in the first stage, and the third phase is implementing the policy, with ongoing public consultation. This three stage process provides opportunities for input at each stage.
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
For further information please contact:
Emma Taylor Oceans Policy Secretariat 025 378 158