Petition update

Urgent update to Waiheke coastline petition

John Douglas
New Zealand

Jan 26, 2021 — 

Events necessitate a change to our petition, “Protect access to Waiheke’s coast and safeguard democracy in NZ”.

Early last week members of the local Ngati Paoa iwi decided to call an urgent public meeting to discuss “which species and where” in implementing a rahui around Waiheke Island. The meeting went ahead, two days later, on Thursday 21 January attended by members of Hauraki Gulf Forum, Waiheke Collective, Future Search participants, Marine Project, Friends of the Hauraki Gulf, Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust, local board members, university lecturers and local teachers. A notice has already been put out on social media that this is taking place this weekend

The meeting concluded with a commitment to go ahead with a rahui based on “100% support from the community”. The rahui will initially apply only to crayfish and shellfish but will expand to more species once the public are comfortable with it. It would be for an initial two years but expected to be rolled over on application.

This new action has blindsided the Marine Project undertaken by the Waiheke Collective who had done a huge amount of work in raising public awareness of this issue.  

We are adding opposition to this action to our petition.

The basis of our opposition is that there appears to be no marine science research to justify an island-wide ban. The speed (two days) and restricted distribution of invitations to attend this meeting make the claim of support from the community a farce. In addition, although the Fisheries Act 1996 allows for a rahui we believe the grounds for this are undemocratic, serving the interests of a minority and of a scope and extent guaranteed to alienate the majority. We elect governments to decide these issues, not segregated groups with closed membership.

If you support our amended petition take no action. If you now want to withdraw your support to the petition opposing the rahui then contact John Douglas on 1945johndouglas@gmail.com

If you want to email your concerns directly with Hon. David Parker, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, use this email address:   d.parker@ministers.govt.nz


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