The Government’s record on protecting our marine environment is lacklustre and yet another example of them failing to deliver, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.
“Despite talking a big game in Opposition, the current Government has not established a single marine reserve. The previous National Government established 11, close to 500,000 hectares worth.
“National was also preparing to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, which would have preserved important habitats for thousands of species of fish and marine life. It appears the current Government has taken it completely off the table.
“The Government promised last May that a consultation document on establishing marine reserves on the South East Coast would be available last year, but again it has not delivered.
“They have also failed to roll out cameras across all commercial fishing boats, instead choosing to water down National’s proposal by only applying cameras to 28 of the more than 1000 vessel strong commercial fishing fleet.
“New Zealand was a world leader in 1971 when we became the first country to legislate for fully protected marine areas with the Marine Reserves Act. Unfortunately this Government is failing to live up to this precedent.
“New Zealand’s ocean environment is the fourth largest of any country and 18 times that of New Zealand’s land mass. This Government is failing to deliver on protecting it.”