Motiti Island Petition

Petition to Government to change legislation that gives regional councils the power to control marine life resources.

The final Environment Court decision released in April has determined that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council can apply no take zones in the marine environment if it believes there is sufficient threat to marine indigenous biodiversity.  As part of the legal process the court concluded that the 3 major fishing reefs around Motiti Island met a threshold for the Regional Council to apply a no take zone.

We understand that in addition to the no take zone on the 3 major fishing reefs, it is possible that further constraints on fishing around Motiti Island are possible.

There is a safety concern too. When the reefs become unfishable, there is a fear that fishers will choose to travel farther to Mayor Island which makes it a risky trip if the weather turns and boaties are unprepared for the rough seas.

This petition requests the Government change the law to ensure this does not happen, and that any discussions on future fishing around the Motiti Island reefs involve wider consultation with recreational fishers, iwi, Motiti whanau and wider Bay of Plenty community:

That the Government change the law to stop the fishing ban being applied to the reefs around Motiti Island and that the accountability for managing fishing stocks be returned to the Ministry of Fisheries (MPI).

We also ask that in the interim MPI and the Regional Council identify actual fish stock numbers and involve the public in wide consultation of how best to manage local fish stocks sustainably.

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