• Nick Smith

The Minister of Conservation Nick Smith today approved the first Regional Coastal Plan for the country. The Taranaki Regional Coastal Plan is the first of nineteen plans to be completed covering the whole coastal marine area of the country.

"If you have ever swum on a beach, walked along part of the seashore or into an estuary, admired some feature or landmark, or even if you have ever taken a trip to the toilet, then you have a direct and crucial interest in how the coast is managed. Too often our coastline is neglected and only used as a playground or public convenience, but most people expect their favourite beach spot to be clean, tidy, easy to access and without a sewerage outfall at one end."

Mr Smith said coastal plans are significant because they will help to protect those special places on our coast, while being part of a broader framework of sustainably managing the coast and sorting out potential conflicts between competing users.

"The Taranaki Regional Council has set a very high standard with the production of this first plan. It has consulted thoroughly and incorporated the views of its citizens into the planning framework as much as possible. The plan is clear and easy to follow and is a model for other Regional Councils."

"The coastal environment has in the past been undervalued and considered only as an after-thought. This first regional coastal plan provides for the sort of legal protection and management of our coastline that it deserves."

"The plan brings together the protection for sites of outstanding coastal and ecological value, while ensuring public access to places of importance to people. It also provides a continuing platform for the sensible development of the Taranaki region through sustainable management of the region's coastal resources. I look forward to receiving other coastal regional plans from the rest of the country."