The South-East Marine Protection Forum/Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka has been granted an extension for the delivery of its Recommendation Report to the Minister for Conservation and Minister of Primary Industries. The new delivery date of 20 December 2017 was announced by the Director-General Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson, who addressed the Forum during a three-day meeting which concluded yesterday in Dunedin.
The Forum Chair, Maree Baker Galloway, says the Forum needs the extra time to do justice to the points of view received from public consultation.
“This is a complex decision-making process, covering a large area and it has generated a lot of public interest. The Forum received 2803 submissions which in itself demonstrates how the community has engaged with the process. ”
The Forum’s final recommendations are expected to include proposals for a network of marine protected areas, including marine reserves, from Timaru to Waipapa Point in Southland, aimed at protecting marine biodiversity.
The Forum is supported in this work by the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation.
Any recommendations made in the report that are accepted by the Government will be required to go through the appropriate statutory processes before implementation.