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NZ Appoint Aquaculture Advisory Group


NEW ZEALAND - Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley and Environment Minister Nick Smith today announced the appointment of the Aquaculture Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to provide expert input to the aquaculture reform process.

“The government is committed to helping the aquaculture industry reach its economic potential and supports its goal of generating $1 billion in sales by 2025,” Mr Heatley said.

Dr Smith said Aquaculture reform was part of Phase II of the government’s wider Resource Management Act reform programme.

“The RMA is not working for the aquaculture industry. The changes made by the previous government have stalled the industry and need to be revisited. Resource law in the coastal environment is complex and that is why extra export support is needed to find a durable solution,” Dr Smith said.

The Aquaculture TAG will report to ministers by the end of September 2009. The ministers will report back to cabinet by the end of November with recommendations for improving the aquaculture regime, and a bill will be introduced to Parliament as soon as possible after that.

The advisory group will be chaired by Hon Doug Kidd, a former Minister of Fisheries. The other members are Tasman District Council Environment and Planning Manager Dennis Bush-King, Aquaculture New Zealand Chief Executive Mike Burrell, Te Ohu Kaimoana Manager of Fisheries Policy and Development Kirsty Woods, New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Policy Manager Nici Gibbs, Northland Regional Council Chair Mark Farnsworth and Iwi Development/Resource Management Consultant Keir Volkerling.

The government is currently proceeding with the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) 2008 as an interim measure to improve the current legislation These amendments address some technical problems with the current aquaculture regime.

The Bill is currently being considered by the Primary Production Select Committee, and is expected to be passed later this year. The terms of reference and biographies of group members are listed below.