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Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill

Introduced on March 8 the bill will create an ocean sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands. The effect of the bill will be to ban all fishing and mining in 620,000 square kilometres of the Exclusive Economic Zone. Awaiting first reading.First reading on March 15 with all parties in support. Maori Party voiced concern about the loss of iwi’s allocated but unused fishing quota and the lack of consultation. ACT’s David Seymour also labelled the bill “greenwashing”. Referred to the Local Government and Environment Committee with a shortened report back date of August 2. The Government intends to pass the law by November. Govt faces potential legal action from Maori fisheries interests and other fishing companies over the quota issue. The Govt has sought a stay in proceedings until the final shape of the legislation is known. Reported back from select committee on July 22 with the numbers to pass despite concerns around the Govt remaining firm on no compensation for lost fishing quota. A number of minor amendments made including changing the name to the “Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary”. Labour and the Greens lodged minority reports saying they supported the Bill, but had concerns. Labour said the Bill undermined the Treaty of Waitangi fisheries settlement, which was meant to be “full and final”. Labour said despite this serious reservation it supported the bill, but would be seeking to remove the clause preventing compensation being claimed. The Greens said it supported no compensation as this would be a significant expansion of the property rights attached to the allocation of fishing quota. Bill now officially on hold after the Maori Party threatened to walk away from confidence and supply agreement if it was passed. The politics are round treaty settlements, property rights and the Govt’s right to legislate for environmental reasons have created some complex issues. Talks with the Maori Party will now take place as legal action unfolds. It could all take some time. New Government indicated the Bill remained on hold. Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill