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Aquaculture Amendment Bill Introduced


NEW ZEALAND - The Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3), introduced into Parliament today, will amend the legislative and regulatory framework that has stalled the growth of aquaculture in recent years.

Streamlined planning and consenting processes will reduce costs to industry, provide stronger incentives for industry development and put aquaculture on track to achieve its goal of being a $1 billion earner by 2025, says Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley.

"The proposed new law will enable aquaculture to fulfil its economic potential, while ensuring that development is environmentally sustainable and balanced with other uses of our coastal space," says Mr Heatley.

The Bill is the culmination of work that started last year to reform the management approach to marine-based aquaculture in New Zealand.

"The management approach introduced in 2004 resulted in no new space being created due to its complexity, cost and uncertainty. This is something the Government is determined to rectify," says Mr Heatley.

"The Government undertook a comprehensive review of the current management approach to marine-based aquaculture. It now wants to make the changes necessary to design a more efficient and integrated approach through the Bill," Mr Heatley says.

The Bill helps regional councils manage high or competing demand for space within the coastal marine area and enables central government to take a more active role in aquaculture planning and consenting.

It removes the requirement for Aquaculture Management Areas in order to provide a more integrated approach by better addressing the needs of aquaculture within the Resource Management Act.

This change will impact on the mechanism for delivery of the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement to iwi when new space is created.

"The Crown is committed to delivering the twenty percent Settlement obligation and will engage with iwi on the best way to deliver the Settlement under the new law," Mr Heatley says.

"I would like to commend all of those who have provided input to the aquaculture reforms to get us to where we are today. It required a tremendous effort from the government agencies involved, as well as from the aquaculture and fishing industries and other stakeholders that made submissions during the reform process."

"This Bill will boost regional development, employment opportunities and the New Zealand economy as a whole," Mr Heatley said.

Any interested parties will have the opportunity to make a submission on the Bill once the Select Committee calls for submissions. Information on the submission process and timeframes will be provided by the Select Committee.

A copy of Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) can be found at