Kaikoura showing us the way forward

World Heritage status for Kaikōura from mountain tops to the canyon floor. A marine mammal sanctuary, a marine reserve over the Kaikōura Canyon and local fishing rules.

These are some of the exciting proposals in the Kaikōura Marine Strategy launched last Saturday for the management of Te Tai o Marokura – the Kaikōura marine environment.

The strategy is the culmination of seven years of research and by various community interests – customary, conservation, fishing and the Kaikōura District Council, who make up Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura.

Using a philosophy of gifts and gains, the Te Korowai vision has four broad outcomes; Sustaining customary practices, Protecting our treasures, Fishing for abundance, and Living sustainably.

Both Environment and Conservation Ministers Amy Adams and Kate Wilkinson, when presented with copies of the 136 page strategy, referred to Marlborough based MPs Colin King (National) and myself (Green of course), and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene (Labour), as representative of the need for a cross party approach to ensure the success of this integrated and consensus based management approach.

Management of the coastal marine area is best served by communities working together, finding common agreement on the use of marine reserves, sanctuaries, and the customary management tools of mataitai, taiapure, and rahui, while supported by cross party agreed legislation when needed.

Integrated land and coastal management strategies such as Te Korowai’s, and the Fiordland Guardians’, need to be encouraged around the full coastline of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is the way forward – an enhanced and truly sustainable food basket and biodiversity protection system.