Relationships key to the success of marine farms

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
23 August 2007, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - While the Auckland area has an impressive l40 marine farms, there are none in the Gisborne district.

Gisborne District councillor Atareta Poananga says no effort is being made by the council to have the potentially - lucrative industry set up here and iwi cannot move forward with any development plans for marine farming.

Ms Poananga told an aquaculture hui at Gisborne that the council needed to be more proactive.

"It is difficult for iwi to move forward and develop because the council, in my opinion, is putting a lot of obstacles in the way of possible development and should be more proactive in developing possible aquaculture management area sites. It is up to the council to initiate a plan change. We need to force the council to respond," she said.

Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngai Tamanuhiri are the registered iwi for the Gisborne district boundary recognised under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004.

GDC senior water conservator Kerry Hudson said the council would progress marine farm development in the district when some form of commitment from the industry was shown.

"Before any ratepayer money is committed to any aquaculture marine area development, we need to see some commitment that there will be value for ratepayers’ money before we go down the path of developing AMAs (Aquaculture Management Areas) in the district."

There had been some interest in marine farming but no firm commitment to date.

Te Puni Kokiri senior policy analyst Tony Seymour said councils throughout the country were still coming to grips with the new AMA laws.

"GDC has been handed an extremely complicated piece of legislation and told to make it work in terms of establishing marine farms.