Forum’s Efforts Thanked by Ministers

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The Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, was in Dunedin yesterday at Otakou Marae, attending the last meeting of the South-East Marine Protection Forum (SEMPF). Also attending, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, the Hon Stuart Nash, was the Director of Fisheries – Marine, Stuart Anderson from MPI. Both came to personally thank the Forum for the work they have done over the last three and half years.

The Forum, established in June 2014 by the Ministers of Conservation and Primary Industries was tasked to recommend to government what sites, from Timaru down to Waipapa Point in Southland, are deserving of marine protection and what type of marine protection the sites need. Throughout the process the Forum was supported by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

In her address to the Forum, the Minister stressed the importance of protecting marine biodiversity for the benefit of future generations and said she looked forward to receiving the Forum’s recommendations.

The Director of Fisheries, Stuart Anderson also endorsed the importance of the Forum’s work.

Forum Chair, Maree Baker-Galloway spoke of the journey the Forum has been on and of the huge commitment each member has made on behalf of iwi, stakeholders and other community interests.

“This process has been part of Forum members’ lives for three and a half years. Each member, past and present, deserves recognition and huge thanks for their efforts.”

In October 2016, the Forum released its consultation document detailing 20 sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas along the South-East Coast of the South Island. By the time consultation closed in December 2016, 2803 submissions had been received.

This year the Forum has been engaged in its final deliberations. This has included reviewing all the information it held for the 20 sites, including details from submissions and additional fisheries information provided by the Ministry for Primary Industries. The Forum also took into consideration other sites proposed in submissions and suggested boundary amendments.

The Forum has used the information gathered during this process, as well as the content of the submissions from the formal consultation process, to improve its understanding of the south-east South Island marine environment and affected people, to deliver informed recommendations.

The Forum’s Recommendations Report will be made public in February 2018.

For further information:

Forum Chair: Maree Baker-Galloway
Ph: +64 3 450 0736 or +64 27 295 4704
Email: maree.baker-galloway@al.nz

Media Liaison: Gillian Thomas 0274272254

South-East Marine Protection Forum Granted Extension

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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.

South-East Marine Protection Forum Mid-Winter Update

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The South-East Marine Protection Forum met in Dunedin for two days on 31 July and 1 August to continue their site-specific deliberations.

Forum Chair, Maree Baker-Galloway says the Forum made good progress towards assessing and verifying all information available for each site that was consulted on.

“It’s important that the Forum has confidence that the information available to them on each site is accurate and can be relied upon before recommendations are made on which sites should be included in a network of marine protected areas.”

Some of the sources of information available to the Forum include an independent Summary of Submissions, an independent Summary of Science Submissions, and the submissions, all of which are now publicly accessible on the Forum’s website.

Maree Baker-Galloway says an almost full turn out of Forum members over the two days was quite an achievement given the transport challenges that winter has delivered to the region over the last month.

The Forum are scheduled to reconvene in late August to continue with deliberations.

Marine protection forum submissions made public

The South-East Marine Protection Forum has released the 2803 submissions received through its consultation process in late 2016.

The Forum consulted on 20 proposed sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas from Timaru to Waipapa Point. The submissions received represent a wide range of stakeholders and demonstrate a high level of engagement and public interest.

Forum chair Maree Baker-Galloway says it is important that the views of those who took the time to provide feedback are available to all interested parties.

“We aim to be as transparent as possible. Now everyone who is invested in the outcome can see the wealth of information and opinions we are considering before making our final recommendations.”

The Forum has also released an independent Summary of Submissions and an independent Summary of Science Submissions. The documents are intended to make the information more accessible for the Forum and the public. The Forum will refer to the summaries and the original submissions throughout its deliberations.

The submissions and the summaries appear on the Forum website at https://south-eastmarine.org.nz/yoursay/summary-of-submissions/. Private and commercially sensitive information has been removed.

The Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries have approved an extension for deliberations until the end of September. The deadline for a final recommendation report to Ministers is under review. The Forum is aiming to complete the report by the end of 2017.

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FORUM COMMITTED TO UNDERSTANDING SUBMITTERS’ FEEDBACK (8th May 2017)

The chair of the South- East Marine Protection Forum, Maree Baker- Galloway says she wants all submitters to have confidence that their feedback has been considered and understood.

“We are going to take the time we need to be familiar with the wide range of feedback that we’ve received. The consultation was complex as we consulted on 20 site proposals. The majority of the 2800 submissions we received provided feedback on multiple site proposals, with many commenting on all twenty as well as providing feedback on what submitters think a network as a whole should look like.”

Submissions closed on December 20 last year and the Forum was to have delivered its final recommendations to government by the end of April.  However, in late March, the Forum recognised it required more time to digest public feedback before it could begin its deliberation process from a position that was well informed by the submissions.

The government agencies that support the Forum, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries, are presently working with the Forum to identify a realistic timeframe for the Forum to review the submissions, deliberate and then deliver the final recommendation report.

Public submissions are intended to be published on the Forum website in the near future, once personal information is removed.