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Aquaculture Amendment Bill (3): Second Reading

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand government is one step closer to finalising the Aquaculture Amendment Bill (No. 3) after a successful second reading.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Phil Heatley, stated that the second reading of the Bill brings legislation to promote investment, reduce costs and uncertainty and ensure managed growth within environmental limits.

"Following a decade of roadblocks and missed opportunities this Bill is set to reform aquaculture legislation", says Mr Heatley. "Once enacted it will provide an efficient legislative framework to enable the aquaculture industry to reach its goal of NZ$1 billion in earnings by 2025".

The Select Committee reported the Bill back to the House on 9th May 2011 and recommended it proceed with some amendments.

"I want to thank the members of the Select Committee for their work and welcome the proposed amendments. The amended Bill continues to provide opportunities to increase export earnings and create new jobs, especially in the regions. It also retains essential protections for the environment and ensures aquaculture will continue to be balanced with other uses of the coastal space", says Mr Heatley.

The central feature of the Bill, the removal of the requirement for Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs), remains with only technical amendments.

Removing the Requirement for AMAs means planning processes will be streamlined and aquaculture will be on an equal footing with other activities in the coastal marine area.

The Bill also ensures that the Crown will continue to uphold the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement.

"The Bill will provide for the Crown’s obligations in respect of new space to be delivered, by providing either space or an agreed equivalent. Those provisions remain with only a minor technical change recommended by the Committee", says Mr Heatley.

Mr Heatley concluded by thanking those who made contributions to the bill and stated that once the law is enacted, it will create a perfect platform for the country to meet the worlds demands for environmentally sustainable aquaculture products.

The Aquaculture Amendment Bill (3) can be read here:
www.legislation.govt.nz

the Fish Site Editor

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