Government Agreement to Legislate - Implementation of the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy

Date: September 2004

Office of the Minister for the Environment

Chair
Cabinet Policy Committee

Proposal

1. This is the report and recommendations of the Minister for the Environment on the preferred options for implementing the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy [CAB Min (03) 38/4 refers]. The key elements of the proposal are:

  1. A proposed package of complementary management measures to give effect to intent of the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy, as developed by the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment
  2. A special form of Fiordland-specific legislation as the means to implement most of the key management measures
  3. No increase in departmental budget baselines are necessary for 2004/05 to begin implementing the legislative changes, but increases to baselines will be sought for 2005/06 through the normal budget process for the rest of the package.

Executive summary

2. Fiordland is a globally unique marine environment that contains exceptional marine biodiversity, valuable marine resources and generates significant economic activity.

3. In September 2003, the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment (the Guardians) completed the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy (the strategy) to address their concerns about the impacts of human activities on Fiordland's fisheries and marine environment. In November 2003, the Minister for the Environment was asked to report on preferred options for implementing the strategy by September 2005 [CAB Min (03) 38/4 refers].

4. This paper summarises the recommendations of the Minister's Investigative Group, which included officials from the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Fisheries, the Department of Conservation, Environment Southland, Ngai Tahu and the Guardians. Their full report is attached as Annex 4.

5. The Investigative Group analysed four broad options for implementing the management measures within the proposed package that will require statutory force. These options were:

Option A: Current legislation - no new legislation - using only measures already available, primarily under the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts

Option B: Comprehensive new legislation - new legislation that would apply in the Fiordland area only, and effectively replace the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts within that area

Option C: Minimal Fiordland-specific legislation - the least amount of statutory change necessary to implement the management measures in paragraph 33, but no provisions relating to ongoing management

Option D: More comprehensive Fiordland-specific legislation - Option C plus provisions for ongoing management (i.e. a purpose provision, a statutory advisory body with specified functions, and requirement on agencies to have regard to its advice).

6. The Investigative Group recommended Option D for Fiordland-specific special legislation that would both implement the necessary management measures and also provide for improved future management. Officials have subsequently reassessed the Investigative Group's analysis and concur with its recommendation.

7. The Fiordland-specific legislation needs to be passed by September 2005 to meet public commitments. The proposed fisheries measures can be implemented by this date through the normal regulation making powers under the Fisheries Act.

8. The key elements to be implemented through the proposed Fiordland-specific legislation are:

  1. A new geographic entity (the Fiordland Marine Area of 928,000ha) with its own advisory committee (the Fiordland Marine Guardians). Agencies working in the Fiordland area would be required to have regard to the committee's advice
  2. An expectation of more integrated management within the Fiordland Marine Area
  3. Eight new marine reserves (total of 9430 ha), established primarily within the inner fiords, represent over 13% of the area of the fiords and contain significant proportions of the marine habitats present (between 5% and 23%). The two existing Fiordland marine reserves total 820 ha; New Zealand's other 15 mainland marine reserves total approximately 14800 ha. There would be a moratorium on new marine reserve applications in Fiordland until the new management measures are formally reviewed after 5 years
  4. The prescription of Fiordland-specific management requirements for the marine reserves, including allowance for non-living taonga collection, the use of rock lobster holding pots, storage of rock lobster pots, public access and anchoring
  5. Changes to the Southland Regional Plan to implement measures relating to resource consents, vessel anchoring, diving activities and biosecurity.

9. The changes to Fisheries Act regulations will:

  1. Prohibit commercial fishing within the inner fiords, which creates a 46,000 ha commercial fishing exclusion zone across all the fiords
  2. Change total and daily bags limits on key species (e.g. blue cod reduced from 30 per day to 3 per day), impose restrictions on bulk harvesting methods, and close Milford and Doubtful Sounds to blue cod fishing for at least two years.

10. In addition to the management measures implemented through changes to legislation, a number of administrative programmes are also proposed that will improve management through more intensive management of risks and threats to the local marine environment. Improvements in coastal planning, monitoring, enforcement, education and biosecurity will be planned and implemented by central government agencies and Environment Southland.

11. Implementation will be spread over three years. During 2004/05 the legislative components will be developed and implemented with a view to enact the new Fiordland legislation by July 2005. During 2005/06 there will be initial implementation of the Fiordland Marine Area including the new fisheries regulations and marine reserves, but most focus will go on planning the major management operations of environmental monitoring and compliance/enforcement. During 2006/07 these operational plans will become operative, if approved during the budget process.

12. MFish, DoC and Environment Southland will continue to undertake day-to-day planning and management, but with an enhanced expectation of contributing to an overall more integrated, co-operative and efficient management regime within the Fiordland Marine Area. Many of the initiatives proposed are new management measures that will require additional funding.

13. No new funding is sought for 2004/05. Funding requests for these subsequent years will be submitted during the normal Budget process.

Background

Fiordland's significance

14. Fiordland is a globally unique marine environment that contains both exceptional marine biodiversity and valuable marine resources. It is also an important economic area; over 300,000 tourists visit Milford Sound annually. Human activities bring a wide variety of risks, including oil spills, bio-invasion, over fishing, and anchoring damage to sensitive habitats. More detail is provided in the Regulatory Impact Statement (Annex 1, paragraphs 1-3).

The Guardians' Strategy

15. In 2003, the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment (the Guardians) completed a strategy to address their concerns about the impacts of human activities on Fiordland's fisheries and marine environment. More information on the Guardians is at pages 1-2 of the Investigative Group Report at Annex 4. Attached at Annex 5 [PDF, 607 KB] is a copy of the July 2004 North and South magazine article, Guardian Angels, which recounts the history of the Guardians.

16. In their strategy the Guardians proposed a package of complementary management measures. They believed some measures were best implemented through legislative change, and some through non-statutory plans and guidelines, industry and sector codes of practice, education and information provision.

Government commitment to implement the Guardians' Strategy

17. At a public meeting in Te Anau on the 6th of September 2003 the Ministers of Fisheries and the Environment gave a strong public commitment to implementing the strategy by September 2005.

18. In November 2003 Ministers confirmed that officials should proceed to implement the management measures proposed by the Guardians [CAB Min (03) 38/4 refers]. An Investigative Group was established to support the Minister for the Environment. It included the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish), Department of Conservation (DoC), Ministry for the Environment (MfE), Maritime Safety Authority (MSA), Environment Southland, the Guardians and Ngai Tahu.

19. This paper incorporates both the Investigative Group's recommendations; their full report is attached as Annex 4; and the subsequent analysis and recommendations by officials.

20. The Ministry of Fisheries noted at that time that some of the fisheries management measures proposed by the Guardians may be inconsistent with national approaches to fisheries management and that some fisheries management measures would also be difficult to enforce.

Investigative Group Report (Annex 4)

21. The Investigative Group recognised the Government's expectations to:

  1. Complete the initial implementation by September 2005
  2. Maintain the significant levels of community support
  3. Retain flexibility about the most appropriate means to implement the proposed management measures.

22. Completed in May 2004, the Investigative Group report confirms the package of measures is feasible and recommends the best means to implement them. Some management measures were slightly modified by this process, but always with the Guardians' agreement.

Recommendations on the Package of Management Measures

23. The Investigative Group's recommendations on the package of management measures are provided at pages 7-9 in Annex 4. All have the Guardians' full agreement and endorsement.

24. In summary, the following should be provided for in a future Fiordland management regime:

  1. A Fiordland Marine Guardians advisory committee
  2. An obligation on the primary marine resource management agencies (for fisheries, marine reserves, coastal planning and biosecurity) to have regard to the advice of the Fiordland Marine Guardians
  3. A defined boundary for the Fiordland Marine Area and the management measures within it (see Map 1)
  4. Eight new marine reserves in the Fiordland area, by September 2005 with specific conditions attached to each (see Map 2 for indicative marine reserve locations)
  5. Review of the effectiveness of the package of management measures after five years of operation
  6. A moratorium on subsequent marine reserve applications which expires at the completion of the first year review or at seven years, whichever is sooner (see Annex 4, paragraph 5d)
  7. Changes to the Proposed Southland Regional Coastal Plan to implement the management measures relating to resource consents, vessel anchoring, diving activities, biosecurity and 'china shop' rules, by September 2005 (see Annex 4, pages 19-21, 36-37, 44-45 for detail)
  8. Changes to local recreational and commercial fisheries regulations (see Annex 4, page 29 for detail)
  9. A number of non-statutory, planning and administrative measures.

Options to Implement the Fiordland Management Measures

25. The Investigative Group recognised and used, wherever possible, existing management mechanisms; both statutory and non-statutory. Many of the proposed management measures can be implemented through non-statutory means (administrative, policy and operational changes). However, at least one of the proposed management measure (changes to the Southland Regional Coastal Plan) will be difficult to complete by September 2005 using normal processes.

26. Officials were mindful of the Government's expectations of implementing the package by September 2005, retaining a flexible approach and maintaining community support. Hence, it was considered important to simultaneously implement all the major management measures. This avoids any perception of an imbalance in the negotiated outcome (the gifts and gains) which the community considers all-important.

27. The Investigative Group analysed four broad options for implementing the management measures.

Option A: Current legislation - no new legislation - using only measures already available primarily under the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts

Option B: Comprehensive new legislation - new legislation that would apply in the Fiordland area only, and effectively replace the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts within that area

Option C: Minimal Fiordland-specific legislation - the least amount of statutory change necessary to implement the management measures in paragraph 46, but no provisions relating to ongoing management

Option D: More comprehensive Fiordland-specific legislation - Option C plus provisions for ongoing management (i.e. a purpose provision, a statutory advisory body with specified functions, and requirement on agencies to have regard to its advice).

28. Since the Investigative Group report was completed, officials have undertaken more detailed analysis of these options. The overall nature of the options has not significantly changed, but the descriptions above have changed slightly. The analysis presented in Annex 2 is slightly different to that in the Investigative Group report. However, the overall conclusion and recommendations of the Investigative Group has not been changed.

29. In summary:

  1. Option A is not recommended. It involved using existing legislation and management systems to bring in the management measures. Most of the specific immediate management measures could be implemented through existing statutory processes or Government policy by September 2005 (to meet commitments made to the Guardians). However, the changes to Southland's regional coastal plan could not. The overall result would have been a piecemeal and complex system, with lower certainty of delivering sound outcomes over time and was unlikely to meet local expectations.
  2. Option B is not recommended. It proposed developing new comprehensive legislation to completely replace existing laws in the Fiordland marine environment. It was considered to be too complex and time consuming, and carried the very high risk of not being able to meet the expected timetable. In addition, it would set the precedent of completely replacing existing legislation within a defined geographic area of the country.
  3. Option C is not recommended. It proposed using a Fiordland-specific Act, but only to implement the management measures requiring immediate change. It did not propose to provide a statutory basis for ongoing management. It did not include: a purpose provision to identify the special values and to guide future decision-makers; a statutory body with specified functions, including provision of advice on future management measures; or a requirement that agencies have regard to its advice.

30. Option D is recommended, and is endorsed by Investigative Group, including MFish, DoC, Environment Southland, MfE, Ngai Tahu and the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment. This option overcomes the limitations of the other options by being able to:

  1. Recognise the special nature of Fiordland's marine environment
  2. Create the Fiordland Marine Guardians committee and specify its functions in statute including the need for its advice to be developed in an integrated way
  3. Define a statutory boundary for all the management measures of the Fiordland marine area, and in the process create a geographically recognisable management entity
  4. Impose a statutory duty on decision makers under the Resource Management, Fisheries and Marine Reserves Acts to have regard to the advice of the Fiordland Marine Guardians
  5. Provide for a formal review of the package management measures after five years of operation and periodically thereafter.

31. Overall, it is estimated that there will be little cost difference between the options, once implemented. The implementation costs are of a similar order, and the significant ongoing costs of monitoring and enforcement/compliance are common to all management regimes. The parameters of the costs are set out in the Financial Implications section below.

32. The proposed management measures will be implemented in the following way:

33. A Fiordland-specific Bill will:

  1. Recognise the national and international importance of the marine habitats and communities and natural features within Fiordland's marine environment
  2. Create the Fiordland Marine Guardians advisory committee. This will take an overview of marine management in Fiordland and provide integrated advice to Ministers, central government management agencies and Environment Southland on the effectiveness of overall marine resources management within the Fiordland marine area. Annex 3 provides detail about the proposed makeup and operation of the committee.
  3. Require each of the primary management agencies making management decisions within the Fiordland marine area (Fisheries, Marine Reserves, Resource Management, Environment Southland) to recognise the Fiordland Marine Guardians and have regard to its advice
  4. Create an entity known as the Fiordland Marine Area and define a common boundary within which the proposed management measures will apply. The Fiordland Marine Area should extend from the eastern bank of the Waiau River in Southland northwards to Awarua Point in northern Fiordland, encompassing all of the Southland Coastal Marine Area between these two points, and including all the sea area from mean high water springs out to the 12 mile territorial limit adjacent to the Fiordland, including the waters of the fiords, but excluding the area around Solander Island, as illustrated on Map 1. This area would be approximately 928,000 ha.
  5. Create eight new marine reserves in the Fiordland marine area, as set out in the attached Map 2 comprising a total of 9430 ha.
  6. For each new marine reserve, include conditions applying to non-living taonga collection, the storage of rock lobster and pots, public access and anchoring
  7. Require a review of the effectiveness of the management measures to be undertaken after five years and periodically thereafter
  8. Disallow subsequent marine reserve applications within the Fiordland Marine Area until the completion of the first review of management, or at seven years from commencement of the Act, whichever is sooner
  9. Create changes to the Southland Coastal Plan to implement the management measures relating to consents, vessel anchoring, diving activities, biosecurity and 'china shop' rules, as set out in the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy Investigative Group Report, Annex 4 at pages 36-37 and 44-45.

34. Other legislative changes will:

  1. Implement all the fisheries management measures through existing regulation-making powers under the Fisheries Act 1996, as described in Table 1.

35. Administrative changes will:

  1. Require the formation of interagency groups to undertake the following tasks:
    1. Implementation Planning - The Ministry for the Environment will convene an 'Implementation Planning Group' to provide project planning and overall co-ordination for the period until the Fiordland Marine Guardians are established and departments and agencies have developed the specific management programmes noted below.
    2. Fiordland Marine Guardians set-up and support - The Ministry for the Environment will, within the parameters set by Cabinet, be responsible for establishing and managing the Fiordland Marine Guardians.
    3. Environmental Monitoring - The proposed new management measures will require monitoring. It is proposed that DoC lead and co-ordinate the development of a monitoring plan fore the area.
    4. Compliance and Enforcement planning - A new and innovative approach to compliance and enforcement in Fiordland. These need to be carefully planned so that responsibility is appropriately shared between the community and the relevant statutory agencies. It is proposed that MFish lead and co-ordinate the development of a compliance and enforcement plan for the area.
    5. Biosecurity - Preventing incursions by unwanted marine species that could impact on the particular habitats and values of the Fiordland marine environment is a priority. It is proposed that the Marine Biosecurity Agency lead the development of a marine biosecurity plan for the area.
    6. Information and Education - Associated with both monitoring and compliance, but also as part of the broader requirement to change people's awareness and manage their behaviour is the need to inform them. DoC, MFish and Environment Southland will need to produce new information material, ranging from signs to pamphlets. It is proposed that Environment Southland (with MfE support) lead this role.
  2. Require central government agencies to assess and implement improved management relationships and interactions in the area.

Process and Timetable for Implementation

36. It is proposed that implementation take place in three stages, over three years; legislative (broadly 2004/05), planning (broadly 2005/06) and operational implementation (2006 onwards).

  1. Legislative - During 2004/05 the relevant legislative initiatives will be developed, culminating in the passing of the Fiordland Marine Area Bill. This would also include the Fisheries Act Regulations. The outcome of this stage would be the implementation of the key management elements of the Guardians strategy with establishment of the Fiordland Marine Area, revised fisheries management rules, marine reserves and the Fiordland Marine Guardians advisory committee. The target date for the legislation to pass is July 2005. The Fiordland Marine Guardians committee could be established earlier by the Minister for the Environment to assist with the planning stage.
  2. Planning - Once the Fiordland Marine Guardians are established they will be able to assist in the planning, development and co-ordination of the various operational requirements of the Fiordland Marine Area. Although various statutory agencies will have their lead roles as described above, it is important to ensure that local need, pragmatism and practicality are able to be important parts of the future management of the area and its resources. This would be a set of tasks to be undertaken during the 2005 calendar year, so that the results can become part of the various agencies business planning and Budget cycle for the 2006/07 year.
  3. Operational implementation - During the 2006/07 year, i.e. from around July 2006 onwards, the agreed and funded plans associated with the relevant operational aspects of management would begin to be implemented.

37. This approach and timetable spreads the whole work programme over three years. It provides for a systematic and adaptive approach to planning and implementing the ongoing operational aspects of the management of the Fiordland Marine Area. It also provides for greater opportunity for the local community to work with the various management agencies to develop appropriate and innovative approaches to management, with a local Fiordland and Southland 'flavour'.

38. There is the risk that the Guardians may perceive this as not delivering on the original commitment to implement their strategy by September 2005. To address this risk, the proposed approach and timetable has been discussed informally with the Guardians group during August 2004. They support the approach. They also recognise the importance of, as they say, "do it once, do it right, and involve us as much as possible". The measured approach is acceptable to them.

39. There is also a timing risk for planning (Stage Two) and implementation (Stage Three). Agencies will need to begin planning as soon as possible in the 2005/06 year to ensure it is completed to provide fully costed proposals for the 2006/07 Budget. The Fiordland Marine Guardians will need to be appointed as early as possible if they are to play a meaningful role in this process. Officials seek the opportunity to provide indicative cost estimates early in the Budget cycle (before December 2005) and final proposals in February 2006.

Consistency with National Policies

Foreshore and Seabed legislation

40. The package of management measures and the Fiordland-specific legislation proposed to implement them are consistent with the proposed Foreshore and Seabed legislation. In particular, Ngai Tahu endorses the recommendation of the Investigative Group for Fiordland-specific legislation.

Oceans Policy

41. The development of a new approach for managing the Fiordland marine environment is consistent with the broad intent of a draft Oceans Policy, which is yet to be presented to Cabinet.

Biodiversity Strategy

42. The proposal for eight new marine reserves that cover most, but not all, of the full range of ecosystem types within the Fiordland Marine Area is consistent with the Government's policy for marine biodiversity protection of 10% of marine habitats within marine protected areas by 2010. More complete representation can be addressed as part of the initial five year review and through subsequent reviews. DoC advises that it is comfortable with the moratorium on marine reserve applications as proposed.

World Heritage Status

43. The Fiordland marine environment is of international significance and meets World Conservation Union criteria for World Heritage status. Although the Fiordland proposals would not conflict with any future World Heritage Status proposals, Ministers may wish to consider announcing their decisions on the Guardians proposals, before any announcements regarding World Heritage Status for Fiordland. This would avoid any unnecessary confusion in the Fiordland community about the Government's intentions.

Elements of the Strategy that have not been included

44. Parts of the Guardians' proposed strategy document are inconsistent with national policy and decisions. Therefore, the Investigative Group has recommended that neither the specific words of the Guardians' strategy nor their 'gifts and gains' approach be included as specific elements within the package of management measures or the process of implementation.

Next Steps

45. In order to achieve the expected timetable for implementation (by September 2005) the following key programme tasks need to be completed:

  1. Work programmes are already being developed for next year (2005/06)
  2. Cabinet Legislative Committee approval for the draft bill (February 2005). This assumes policy development and drafting is given sufficient priority amongst the competing marine and resource management legislation drafting proposed in late 2004
  3. Introduction of the Bill to Parliament in late February 2005
  4. Possible establishment of a precursor committee to the Fiordland Marine Guardians by the Minister for the Environment in May or June 2005 to assist with planning for 2005/06 to meet business planning / budget timetables for the 2006/07 year
  5. Departments and agencies begin work in July 2005 on planning for the implementation the management measures not requiring legislative change.

Consultation

46. MFish, DoC, Treasury, MSA, Justice, Te Puni Kokiri, Land Information New Zealand, and the State Services Commission have been consulted in preparing this paper.

47. This paper summarises the recommendations of the Investigative Group. The members of this group included the MFish, DoC, MfE, MSA, Environment Southland, the Guardians and Ngai Tahū.

48. The consultation undertaken by the Guardians regarding the proposed changes to management in Fiordland has effectively pre-empted the consultation normally required as part of the development of policy for new legislation. It is also considered that the Guardians would have met the consultation requirements for any marine reserve or coastal planning processes.

Human rights

49. There are no human rights issues

Legislative implications

50. The recommendations of the Investigative Group have legislative implications as outlined in recommendations 11-16 of this Cabinet paper. This paper proposes Fiordland specific legislation, as well as the use of existing regulation-making powers under the Fisheries Act 1996 to develop regulations for local fisheries management.

Regulatory impact and compliance cost statement

51. A regulatory impact and business compliance statement addresses the both the public policy objectives and alternative implementation options for this proposal. It concludes that change in the legislative regime is desirable and necessary, and that the option of Fiordland-specific legislation is appropriate. Extra compliance costs to businesses operating within the Fiordland area are identified and measures are being investigated to ensure these remain minimal. The regulatory impact and business compliance statement is attached at Annex 1.

52. Based on the information provided in the attached RIS/BCCS, the Regulatory Impact Analysis Unit considers that the disclosure of information is adequate, and the level of analysis is appropriate given the likely impacts of the proposal.

Gender implications

53. There are no gender implications.

Financial implications

(Note, all figures are have been removed as they are now part of the development of the 2005/06 Budget)

54. This is a significant new proposal for which departments and ministries with new work programmes will incur significant new costs. New funding specifically allocated and targeted to this programme will be sought in the 2005/06 Budget.

55. The significant ongoing cost areas are monitoring and compliance/enforcement activity across all areas of management. For both of these activities significant interagency planning and co-operation are likely to pay dividends. Hence the emphasis in 2005/06 for set-up and planning activity.

56. Environmental Monitoring costs - MFish and DoC will have new monitoring responsibilities and costs. These are split into planning costs (2005/06) and ongoing operational costs. For the first year (2005/06) planning and set up costs only are proposed. DoC has agreed to lead the planning for monitoring.

57. For 2005/06, DoC, MFish, Marine Biosecurity and MfE will be seeking increases to baselines to cover their involvement in the planning stage.

58. Outyear costs for monitoring the eight new marine reserves, fisheries populations and the other special areas and activity effects will depend on the timing and intensity of the programme. Much of any cost will cover the contracting of expert researchers, but another significant cost is logistics due to Fiordland's remote location and its enormous size.

59. A co-ordinated planning approach to monitoring, linked to other activities (compliance, site management) within the area should be able to ensure efficient monitoring. However, until agencies are able to plan, therefore know what is to be monitored, and where co-operation and synergy can be found; these estimates can not be firmed up.

60. Compliance and Enforcement Costs - MFish and DoC will almost certainly have higher compliance and enforcement costs than currently. MFish have agreed to lead the development of a compliance and enforcement plan during 2005/06.

61. For 2005/06, DoC, MFish, Marine Biosecurity and MfE will be seeking increases to baselines to cover their involvement in the planning stage. Both DoC and MFish expect that they will have increased compliance and enforcement costs during 2005/06 as the new rules within the Fiordland Marine Area become known.

62. Depending on the nature of the compliance and enforcement plan completed in 2005/06, there will be new costs associated with setting up new compliance and enforcement activities.

63. Biosecurity compliance costs depend entirely on the level of action proposed. No further funding is sought for this activity until a marine biosecurity plan is completed and agreed by Cabinet.

64. Environment Southland is expected to meet its own ongoing compliance and surveillance costs.

Departmental Cost Estimates

2004/05 Financial Year

65. Costs for 2004/05 will be found from within existing baselines. As this policy was not completed at the time the 2004/05 budget was completed, Departments have had to identify and defer other priority work programmes to meet the deadline for passing legislation and implementing the strategy by September 2005.

66. The current financial year (2004/05) has costs associated with preparation and planning. This includes legislation preparation and drafting (such as assisting Environment Southland to provide information on changes to its coastal plan for inclusion in the Bill), planning of an appropriate event to launch the Fiordland Marine Area, preparation of public information and establishment of the Fiordland Marine Guardians committee.

2005/06 Financial Year and beyond

(Note, all figures are have been removed as they are now part of the development of the 2005/06 Budget)

  $m -Increase/(Decrease)
  2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 & Outyears GST
Vote Environment
Departmental Output Class:
Environmental Policy Advice
(funded by revenue Crown)
Nil       Incl.
Vote Fisheries
Departmental Output Classes:
Fisheries Information and Monitoring
Enforcement of Fisheries Policies
(all funded by revenue Crown)


Nil

Nil
     

Incl.

Incl.
Vote Biosecurity - Fisheries
Departmental Output Class:
Marine Biosecurity Advice (separate decision)
(funded by revenue Crown)
Nil       Incl.
Vote Conservation
Departmental Output Class:
Management of Natural Heritage
(funded by revenue Crown)
Nil       Incl.
Total Nil        

(Note - Marine Biosecurity Outyear costs (beyond 2005/06) will be subject to separate Cabinet decision based on the proposed Fiordland Marine Biosecurity Plan)

Publicity

67. A press release will be prepared once Cabinet decisions have been made. The Ministry for the Environment will develop a communications plan to ensure key stakeholders are kept informed of progress.

Recommendations

On 15 September 2004 the Cabinet Policy Committee:

1. noted that, in 2003, the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment (the Guardians) completed the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy (the Strategy) to address its concerns about the impacts of human activities on Fiordland's fisheries and marine environment;

2. noted that the Guardians' Strategy is the result of an eight-year process of public discussion, consultation and negotiation. Their proposals form an integrated and complementary package and the Guardians expect the proposals will be implemented together;

3. noted that Ministers have given a strong public commitment to implement the intent of the Guardians' Strategy by September 2005;

4. noted that in November 2003, an Investigative Group was formed to provide the Minister for the Environment with a report on preferred options for implementing the Strategy [CAB Min (03) 38/4];

Options for implementing the package of management measures

5. noted that the Investigative Group identified four options for the implementation of the proposed statutory management measures:

5.1. Option A: Current legislation - using measures already available primarily under the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts;

5.2. Option B: Comprehensive new legislation - new legislation that would apply in the Fiordland area only, and effectively replace the Fisheries, Marine Reserves and Resource Management Acts within that area;

5.3. Option C: Minimal Fiordland-specific legislation - the least amount of statutory change necessary to implement only the management measures, but no provisions relating to ongoing management;

5.4. Option D: More comprehensive Fiordland-specific legislation - Option C plus provisions for ongoing management (i.e. a purpose provision, a statutory advisory body with specified functions, and requirement on agencies to have regard to its advice);

6. noted that a non-legislative approach would be piecemeal, complex, and be less certain of delivering sound marine resource management outcomes over time and would not meet local expectations;

7. agreed that Option D, comprehensive Fiordland-specific legislation, as set out in paragraph 5.4 above, is the recommended means to implement the statutory management measures, as it delivers the desired outcomes at no difference in overall, long-term cost;

8. agreed that a three-stage approach be taken to implementation:

8.1. the first stage is the legislative programme (during 2004/05);

8.2. the second stage is the initial establishment and planning of major programmes around monitoring, compliance and enforcement, and biosecurity (during 2005/06);

8.3. the third stage is the implementation of the agreed plans (from 2006 onwards);

Statutory Measures

9. invited the Minister for the Environment to issue drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for new Fiordland-specific legislation limited to the Fiordland area, which will:

9.1. recognise the national and international importance of the marine habitats and communities and natural features within Fiordland's marine environment;

9.2. create the Fiordland Marine Guardians advisory committee (the Guardians) and specify its role and functions;

9.3. require each of the primary management agencies making management decisions within the Fiordland marine area (Ministers and departments responsible for fisheries, marine reserves and resource management, Environment Southland) to recognise the Fiordland Marine Guardians and have regard to its advice;

9.4. create a new geographic entity known as the Fiordland Marine Area and define a common boundary within which the proposed management measures will apply as set out in Map 1 attached to POL (04)249;

9.5. create eight new marine reserves in the Fiordland Marine Area, as set out in Map 2 attached to POL(04)249;

9.6. for each new marine reserve, include conditions applying to non-living taonga collection, the storage of rock lobster and pots, public access and anchoring;

9.7. require a review of the effectiveness of the management measures to be undertaken after five years and periodically thereafter;

9.8. impose a moratorium on new marine reserve applications within the Fiordland marine area until the completion of the management review or at seven years from commencement of the Act, whichever is sooner;

9.9. create changes to the Southland Regional Coastal Plan to implement the management measures relating to consents, vessel anchoring, diving activities, biosecurity and 'china shop' rules (small discrete areas that are outstanding for the abundance of particular animal species);

10. agreed that the Fiordland Marine Guardians advisory committee will:

10.1. comprise eight members appointed by the Minister for the Environment, in consultation with the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation, and Environment Southland;

10.2. have the following functions:

10.2.1. provide integrated advice on marine resource management and conservation within the Fiordland Marine Area;

10.2.2. facilitate integrated management and provide a forum for management agencies to work together;

10.2.3. act as a marine reserves advisory body;

10.2.4. assist management agencies to:

10.2.4.1. prepare and disseminate information and educational material;

10.2.4.2. plan monitoring of the state of the marine environment, uses, activities and effects;

10.2.4.3. undertake at five years from the commencement of the Act and periodically thereafter, a review of the effectiveness of the package of management measures;

10.2.4.4. plan for compliance and enforcement;

10.2.5. provide any other advice requested by Ministers;

10.3. have no executive management responsibilities;

10.4. be distinct from the Incorporated Society known as the Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment Inc;

11. agreed that the formal boundary for the Fiordland Marine Area should extend from the eastern bank of the Waiau River in Southland northwards to Awarua Point in northern Fiordland, encompassing all of the Southland Coastal Marine Area between these two points, and including all the sea area from mean high water springs out to the 12 mile territorial limit adjacent to Fiordland, including the waters of the fiords, but excluding the area around Solander Island, as illustrated on Map 1 attached to POL (04)249;

12. directed officials to report to Cabinet Legislative Committee by February 2005 with a Fiordland Bill that gives effect to the matters set out in paragraphs 9-11;

13. agreed that regulations be made to implement the fisheries management measures through existing regulation-making powers under the Fisheries Act 1996, as set out in Table 1 on page 16 of the submission under POL (04)249;

14. directed Fisheries officials to prepare for the Minister of Fisheries' approval, and for submission to the Cabinet Legislation Committee, appropriate Fisheries Act regulations that will implement all the fisheries management measures that will be provided for in paragraph 13 above, once the new legislation identified in paragraph 9 is enacted;

Non-Statutory Measures

15. directed the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) to co-ordinate project planning for the implementation of the package of management measures and the work of departments and agencies as they develop the specific management programmes in paragraphs 16-20 below;

16. directed The Department of Conservation (DoC) to lead the development of an integrated marine resource monitoring plan for the Fiordland Marine Area, with the support of officials from the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish), MfE, Environment Southland, the Guardians, and other interested parties;

17. directed the Ministry of Fisheries to lead the development of an integrated compliance and enforcement plan for the Fiordland Marine Area, with the support of DoC, MfE, Environment Southland, the Guardians, and other interested parties;

18. directed the MfE to work with Environment Southland to co-ordinate the development of an information and education programme for the Fiordland Marine Area, with the support of DoC, MFish, the Guardians, and other interested parties;

19. directed MAF Marine Biosecurity Agency officials to lead the development of a plan to address marine bio-invasion for the Fiordland Marine Area, with the support of by officials from DoC, MFish, MfE, Environment Southland, the Guardians, and other interested parties;

20. directed MfE, DoC, MFish and MAF (marine biosecurity), in conjunction with the Guardians and Environment Southland, to identify potential areas for better integration and cooperation between agencies, and means for achieving this;

Financial Implications

21. noted departments will undertake work, during the 2004/05 financial year, in preparation for the implementation of the Fiordland Marine Area, the Fiordland-specific legislation and the Fisheries Act regulations, within 2004/05 baseline allocations;

22. noted that departments have identified and deferred other priority 2004/05 work programmes to achieve this policy;

23. noted the departments are already in the process of developing funding bids for their 2005/06 work programme;

24. noted that funding requests for future years will be submitted during the normal Budget process.

25. noted that a consequence of ensuring the Fiordland Marine Guardians have a role in planning the significant work programmes for 2006/07 (monitoring, compliance, etc) is that these plans may not be completed before the end of the 2005 calendar year and so departments will need to provide indicative funding bids in the early stages of the 2006/07 budget cycle to ensure the proposed work programmes can be accounted for;

26. authorised an Ad Hoc Group of Ministers (the Minister for the Environment, the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation, and the Chair of the Ad Hoc Ministerial Group on Oceans Policy (Hon Pete Hodgson)) to make decisions to implement the decisions above and any matters that are of minor detail;

27. agreed that the Minister for the Environment may publicly release the submission under POL (04)249 and Annexes, including the Investigative Group Report and the Regulatory Impact and Business Compliance Cost Statement, once Cabinet has made a decision;

28. agreed that the Minister for the Environment may make a media statement about the proposals above, once Cabinet has made a decision;

Consultation

29. noted that the Minister for the Environment indicates that consultation will be required with the government caucuses and other parties represented in Parliament.

Hon Marian Hobbs
MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT