Successful launch of the Kaikōura marine strategy

A milestone in caring for the Kaikōura coast was achieved on Saturday 26 October, when Environment Minister Amy Adams received the Te Korowai strategy, Sustaining our Seas, from Larnce Wichman, chair of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura.

Gina Solomon, Hon. Kate Wilkinson, Darcia Solomon, Hon. Amy Adams and Mark Solomon.

The marine strategy, Sustaining our Seas, recommends changes to the recreational fishing rules for Kaikōura and the commercial fishing boundaries; recognises five customary fishing reserves; aims to create a world heritage marine reserve – Hikurangi Marine Reserve and a marine mammal sanctuary; and the use of other environmental protection tools to sustain the Kaikōura coastal area.

“We are now waiting on the Government to respond to our strategy,” says Wichman. “We have proposed a comprehensive package of measures for sustaining every aspect of the Kaikōura marine environment. Amy Adams has received the strategy, and we hope she will recommend support in principle from Cabinet.”

In speeches at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura, both Amy Adams, and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson praised the work of Te Korowai, calling community-led initiatives like this the way of the future.

Te Korowai is made up of a group of Kaikōura-based organisations including Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura (Ngāti Kurī), local fishers (recreational and commercial), tourism operators, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand and others with an interest in the Kaikōura marine environment. Te Korowai has also had the support of local and regional government, relevant government departments, ministries, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the community of Kaikōura.

Senior government, council officials and Kaikōura Mayor Winston Gray also expressed their support in the informal sessions on the day.

Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray.

Mayor Gray, referred to by Amy Adams in her speech as “the good sort of Winstone”, spoke of the solid community support the strategy has.

Te Korowai remains keen to see special legislation used to implement the strategy and hopes to hear back from the government about the implementation pathways before Christmas.

“We hope ministers will support us in this, but we have agreed to explore all implementation options with the government. We will let our community, and all those who have made submissions, know as soon as we are informed of the path ahead,” says Wichman.

Photos thanks to Shayne Kavanagh.