Five-point plan to support aquaculture development
7 June 2007
The government has announced its five-point plan to support the future growth of aquaculture in New Zealand.
“The government’s plan supports regional councils in their planning processes, provides better public information on aquaculture, promotes Māori involvement in aquaculture, and helps the aquaculture industry develop markets and products,” Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.
Continued growth of the aquaculture sector will be based on industry partnerships with regional councils, iwi and communities, and with research providers."For this growth to be successful, it must also be sustainable," Jim Anderton said. “One area I’m particularly excited about is working with industry to develop national standards for sustainable aquaculture.
“National standards will prove to the world that New Zealand’s aquaculture industry is environmentally sustainable - giving us an edge with consumers who are demanding eco-friendly food products.”
Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said the government will be working closely with regional councils and other interested parties on initiatives to help aquaculture develop in a sustainable way.
“We want to encourage investment in aquaculture planning, particularly through supporting regional councils to create new Aquaculture Management Areas, where suitable, to make better use of existing aquaculture space, and to provide for research and experimentation,” David Benson-Pope said.
“Towards this, we have provided $2 million to councils through a contestable fund. Nearly $400,000 of this has just been approved to Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions to assist with the information gathering, policy development and community processes required for good aquaculture planning.”
Māori will also play a key role in the future development of aquaculture in New Zealand. "Strengthening their involvement will further benefit Māori communities, and ensure the prosperity of the wider industry," Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said.
“The Government takes very seriously its commitments in the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004. The government has also provided funding for the new industry body Aquaculture New Zealand to employ a Māori relationship manager.
“This will prove an important position, as the role will help develop even stronger relations between industry and iwi groups.”
Details of the Labour-Progressive government's initiatives for the aquaculture industry are contained in the publication ‘Our Blue Horizon’, and can be found on the government’s aquaculture website: www.aquaculture.govt.nz
Read the Prime Minister's statement on aquaculture growth (Aquaculture NZ)
Read Jim Anderton's speech in full
Read David Benson-Pope's media release
Key areas of government support for aquaculture growth
1. Building the confidence to invest
Investing with confidence in aquaculture requires certainty. We are entering a new era for aquaculture in New Zealand. The planning framework is new and it will take time for everyone to get used to it. In some regions aquaculture planning is already underway, while other regions are still at the stage of exploring the possibilities for future aquaculture.
The government wants to encourage investment in aquaculture planning, particularly through supporting regional councils to create, where appropriate, new Aquaculture Management Areas and to make better use of existing aquaculture space.
Government support will focus on promoting a collaborative approach between stakeholders, and reducing the barriers councils and industry may face in the planning process.
2. Improving public support
Better public understanding of the benefits and effects of aquaculture is needed to help communities make informed decisions about new developments in their coastal neighbourhood.
Good information, sound resource management planning and inclusive community processes are all vital to successfully managing local environments for mutual benefit, and to ensuring that the aquaculture industry gains the confidence of local communities.
3. Promoting Maori success in aquaculture
Māori are significant players in the New Zealand aquaculture industry. Strengthening their involvement will further benefit Māori communities and ensure the prosperity of the wider industry.
The government will work with Māori to develop resources for a sustainable growth framework that takes into account both commercial and kaitiaki (stewardship) aspirations. This will include actively engaging Māori participation at all levels of the industry, including the planning process and its growth.
Te Puni Kōkiri is currently investigating a number of initiatives that will support and encourage Māori participation in aquaculture. One of these initiatives is funding to help establish a Maori Manager in Aquaculture New Zealand. The role will help develop even stronger relationships between industry and iwi groups.
4. Capitalising on research and innovation
New Zealand’s aquaculture industry has the potential to be an international leader, providing high quality, sustainable seafood products to the world.
Our enviable 'clean, green' reputation gives the industry a huge natural advantage in the global market place; but it will be innovation, along with the application of technology and branding, that will sustain our competitive advantage long term.
Being at the forefront of technology and best practice will help increase the value we get from existing species. Even more importantly it will spur the development of new high value species and products such as nutraceuticals.
5. Increasing market revenues
New Zealand’s aquaculture industry can help meet the world’s growing demand for seafood. To achieve the industry’s goal of $1 billion sales by 2025 we must boost the volume and value of exports to new and existing export markets.
Government assistance will include improving access to export markets and identifying opportunities for new species and products.