Submission to Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environment Effects) Bill

The Kororareka Marae submission to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environment Effects) Bill is given below:

15 October 2011

Submission to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill :

Ka tangi riporipo te puna o te haetara, whiti atu ki te ao ake ra, e nga mate huhua, e nga aitua maha, moe mai ra i roto i nga ringa a aitua.

Ka huri ki te wheiao ki te ao marama, nei ra te mihi ki a koutou nga kaiwhiriwhiri i tenei kaupapa nui mo matou nga whanau o Kororareka Marae Society Inc.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

The Kororareka Marae Society Incorporated was established in the late 1980’s to build a marae in Kororareka to provide for cultural and spiritual practises of hunga kainga.  Our members exercise rangatiratanga in respect of the management o nga taonga o Kororareka, namely the seas surrounding the Kororareka peninsula.  Fundamental to the exercise of this responsibility is the objective to protect and preserve mauri, that is, the life-force that underpins the existence of all living things. This is particularly relevant in our rohe to the realm of Tangaroa.

We submitted some years ago to an Oceans Policy to have an inclusive management regime from the mountains to the sea and oceans.  Putting management of oceans into one body, the Environmental Protection Agency is not in our view inclusive and accessible for Maori and many NZers. An inclusive, consensus decision making process is required, engaging directly with hapu and iwi

The Treaty of Waitangi is pivotal to this legislation. We submit that Te Tiriti o Waitangi be included in this legislation and that marae whanau such as ours continue to exercise rangatiratanga of moanatapu in our rohe.   We do not cede rangatiratanga to an Environmental Protection Agency.

We have developed a  strategic plan for Customary Fisheries for Kororareka.  The traditional fisheries of Kororareka have been subject to degradation through pollution of our waterways and depletion by over fishing of Te Moana o Pikopiko i Whiti over many years to the point now where harvesting to meet customary responsibilities is difficult.  The mana of Kororareka Marae whanau suffers when we are unable to provide safe kaimoana to manuhiri and whanau whanui and to fulfill our manaakitanga responsibilities.

We are embarking on a holistic approach to restore, protect and preserve the seas surrounding the Kororareka peninsular by working closely with marae, whanau and hapu in the wider Bay of Islands.  This process should apply to laws for oceans.

The Bill must take account of what is happening now in the oceans. We have put life in the oceans in peril.  We are taking too much out; dumping too many poisons and pollutants in; destroying too much habitat, too many breeding grounds and threatening the complex web of life which sustains the sea. There is no room for complacency. 

The legislation needs to make explicit how it will restore, protect and preserve  the marine environment.  Robust, open and transparent systems and processes must be developed from this basis before activities which potentially destroy marine ecosystems are allowed i.e. seabed mining, some aspects of petroleum activities, energy generation, carbon capture and storage, and marine farming and others identified in the Bill.

Currently, NZ and the world are watching an environmental disaster unfold off the  Bay of Plenty coastline as the grounded container ship RENA releases oil into coastal marine waters.   The events leading up to and stemming from this particular disaster reduce confidence in the effectiveness of our present legislative framework to minimise and deal with such events.

Legislators must take into account disasters of this nature, New Zealanders will want to know that if something goes wrong we are ready to deal with it competently and swiftly. We also have large numbers of oil tankers, with much more oil on board than a coastal container ship, plying our waters on a regular basis. They have the potential for a much greater disaster.

New Zealand has more than 14,000km of coastline and some of the most important and bio diverse oceans in the world. We need world-classenvironmentalstandards and internationalbestpractice in oil spill management and/or other environmental disasters in our oceans available at a moments notice.

It is critical that decision makers act consistently with all international environmental obligations to “protect and preserve” the marine environment.

The Kororareka Marae Society tautoko the calls from Te Whanau a Apanui to stop Petrobras drilling in the deepwater Raukumara Basin.  The Petrobras permit is in water up to 3000m deep which is much deeper than current operating fields, so it would be  challenging to deal with any spill.

Integral to the oil and gas industry are the emissions of green house gases.  The government is promoting this industry without considering the risks to future generations. This was further evidence that the government and future governments need to rethink their approach to deep sea oil exploration and development. 

Whatu ngarongaro he tangata

Toitu nga moana
Toitu nga moana

Mrs Maiki Marks – Chairperson Kororareka Marae Society Incorporated

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