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Land Information Minister Mark Mitchell says a new hydrographic plan will help deliver benefits to New Zealand’s shipping and fishing industries, tourist operators, and marine scientists.

“Today Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) released its HYPLAN, which sets out areas around the country where it will carry out surveys of the sea floor over the next five to ten years,” Mr Mitchell says.

“LINZ will use the latest technology to map the sea floor and update vital information such as nautical charts.

“The plan supports professional skippers and recreational boaties by giving them access to the latest and most accurate navigation information.

“The data collected will also be made available to marine science institutions and environmental management organisations to support the work they do.”

The plan prioritises areas where the latest navigation information will be most beneficial.

“One of the biggest priority areas is from Kaikoura to Port Underwood. Last year’s earthquake had a big impact both above and below water, so it’s important we assess the local sea floor,” Mr Mitchell says.

“Fiordland, Eastern Bay of Plenty, and the East Cape are also high on the priority list due in part to the increasing flow of cruise ships in those areas.”

For these priority areas, work is planned to start later this year, and LINZ will soon go out to the market to find a survey company to carry this out.

Other priority areas include Bluff and Stewart Island, Approaches to Port Taranaki, Banks Peninsula, and the Coromandel, with LINZ set to continually review these areas so it can adjust if the needs of a region change.

To read the HYPLAN priorities for surveys, visit the LINZ website at http://www.linz.govt.nz/sea/charts/annual-work-programme

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