New Zealand Labour Party

Lack of consultation over Kermadec ocean sanctuary

A lack of consultation with important iwi stakeholders about the establishment of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary could lead to legal challenges, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.

“Labour welcomes the establishment of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary but we do have concerns the Government’s carefree approach is denying iwi involvement and could lead to legal challenges.

“Te Ohu Kaimoana hold significant quota for Maori in an area affected by the sanctuary and yet they weren’t consulted. This is a breach of Treaty of Waitangi obligations.  Key stakeholders, including iwi, should have been part of the conversation about the Sanctuary before the announcement was made.

“Closing a fishing area isn’t like closing a paddock. You can’t just move stock elsewhere and say that everyone is satisfied.”

“There are implications and obligations the Government hasn’t considered,” said Rino Tirikatene.