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Towards successful marine co-management in the South Island : how management of the Banks Peninsula marine environment contributes to successful co-management arrangements

Barr, Miranda
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::050205 Environmental Management , ANZSRC::050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
The utilisation and protection of New Zealand's marine environment is of vital importance both in an economic sense, and as a resource that is highly valued by New Zealanders, Tangata Whenua and visitors for recreational and customary fishing-considered the birthright of all New Zealanders. The statutory framework for utilising and protecting the marine environment of the South Island has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Statutory frameworks have been developed to accommodate the needs of many resource user groups including marine conservation advocates, recreational and commercial fishers, and Tangata Whenua. These frameworks exist in the provisions for marine reserves, Taiapure-Local Fishery areas, Mataitai Reserves, conservation rahui, the Quota Management System and marine mammal sanctuaries. Despite providing for the specific needs of resource users through these provisions, the statutory arrangements under which these provisions exist are fragmented, polarised and have resulted in time consuming and costly consultation processes between resource users. Many of the inefficiencies of these processes can be attributed to conflicts between the interpretation and objectives of the differing mechanisms available to manage the marine environment, leading to preferences of some mechanisms over others. While these mechanisms exist under varying statutory frameworks, it appears that there are a number of underlying similarities between these marine management mechanisms that suggest these mechanisms can achieve similar objectives whilst meeting the specific needs of resource users. It is the conflicts and barriers that exist towards the proposal and establishment of marine management mechanisms that is inhibiting the ability of marine management to shift towards successful co-management of the marine environment. Because the South Island of New Zealand has recently settled Maori grievances over commercial and customary fishing rights, and has therefore recognised the role of Tangata Whenua in the management of the marine environment, it was realistic to select a case study in the South Island. The Banks Peninsula marine environment is managed under a range of marine management mechanisms that characterise marine management arrangements in the South Island. Of particular interest to this study is the process undertaken to propose and establish the Pohatu Marine Reserve at Flea Bay, within the Banks Peninsula. The processes undertaken to propose and establish a marine reserve, and the issues related to marine management in general, are identified in this case study. Analysed against criteria for successful co-management, the Pohatu Marine Reserve and the marine management arrangements in the Banks Peninsula area provide an insight into how the statutory framework for marine management is implemented, and the barriers that exist to successful co-management. From the analysis, the following options and recommendations have been identified to improve the statutory framework for marine management in the South Island, with a view to achieving successful marine co-management arrangements.
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