Minister welcomes opening of Kaikoura fisheries office
3 December 2010
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley has today welcomed the opening of a new Ministry of Fisheries office at Kaikoura.
Mr Heatley says the office, to be staffed by two full-time employees and five volunteers, is a significant boost to the Ministry’s presence and capacity in an area where outdoor activity, including fishing, is increasing.
"The new office is opening just in time for the busy summer season," Mr Heatley said.
"A permanent presence on the popular Kaikoura coast will be a great help to the Ministry’s compliance effort. Poaching has been a problem here and Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers have an important role in helping both locals and visitors understand and follow the rules."
For the last two decades the Kaikoura coast has been mainly patrolled by staff travelling from Christchurch, Blenheim and Nelson as well as local Honorary Fishery Officers whose contribution has been invaluable. An Honorary Fishery Officer has been employed for the last two years.
"These people have all done a great job and the time has now come to raise the Ministry’s profile in this area," Mr Heatley said.
"I want to thank the local community for their help and support to achieve this milestone. The Government is committed to improving the Ministry’s frontline response capacity and today’s opening will help that."
There are more than 150 warranted Fishery Officers and over 200 Honorary Fishery Officers around the country. The plan is to engage a total of 225 Honorary Fishery officers by June 2011.
The Kaikoura coast, best known for its rock lobster fishery, is recognised as a unique and important coastal area encompassing large-scale recreational and commercial fishing interests.
The local council and Te Korowai o Te Tai Marokura (Kaikoura Coastal Guardians) were strong advocates for an increased Ministry of Fisheries presence in the area.
Kaikoura MP Colin King, officiated at today’s opening.
For the latest recreational fishing rules for the South East area, which includes the Kaikoura Coast, go to the Recreational section. If you see any suspicious activity, call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).