28 February, 2013
Minister welcomes final King Salmon report
The final report of the Board of Inquiry on New Zealand King Salmon’s application to develop new marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds was welcomed today by Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith.
“The Board has undertaken a thorough process being mindful of the need for New Zealand to conserve its natural resources with the need to grow exports, jobs and wealth,” Dr Smith says.
“The substantive decisions in the final report are consistent with the draft released last year, with the Board approving four new farms. These farms will occupy an area of just six hectares of surface water space out of a total of about 100,000 hectares in the Marlborough Sounds. They will enable King Salmon to grow its production from 7,500 to 15,000 tonnes per year, employ another 170 people and boost its annual export earnings by an extra $60m.
“The Board’s report is the product of the Government’s resource management and aquaculture reforms. The old process for acquiring new aquaculture space was cumbersome and could take over a decade for decisions to be made. The Government addressed this by giving specific recognition to aquaculture in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, amending the Resource Management Act to enable coastal plan changes and consents to be considered in a single process and creating the Environmental Protection Authority to allow for consenting of proposals of national significance.
“This process has been thorough, fair and robust. The Board worked through more than 1,200 public submissions, with more than 180 witnesses and submitters heard and over 10,400 pages of evidence received during a 37-day hearing. Submitters have also had the opportunity to comment on the Board’s draft decision released in December last year.
“I particularly want to thank retired Environment Court Judge Gordon Whiting and the Board for their work in carefully considering and determining this application.”