Kermadec Islands

National goes Green and everyone gets upset


One doesn’t normally associate the National Party with forward-thinking conservationist policy. That’s more the territory of the Greens, who battle valiantly for the protection and sustainability of the environment and its biodiversity in these dark planetary days. It’s the Greens who normally fight the good fight against the chop ’em down (trees) and fish-till-you-drop brigade whose numbers are legion.

So it came as a pleasant surprise to recently read that the government has proposed to set a marine reserve around the Kermadec Islands, which would raise our marine quota from 0.4 per cent to 15 per cent, 5 per centage points above the target set by the United Nations, to which New Zealand is a signatory.

You’d think everyone would applaud. But no. Read more »

Maori Party makes National its bitch over Kermadecs


That Northland loss to Winston is costing. Big.

After ruling out compensation for iwi affected by a proposed Kermadec ocean sanctuary, the Government has buckled to pressure and will now consider it.

A Bill to establish the sanctuary unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament yesterday, but a number of iwi are angry about the lack of consultation.

The Maori Party has met with Environment Minister Nick Smith, who agreed to talks with iwi on compensation in return for the Maori Party supporting the Bill. Read more »

Key slaps the begging bowls from Northland Maori over Kermadecs claim

John Key has politely told iwi to GFY over their claims on the Kermadecs.

A marine sanctuary will go ahead in the Kermadec Islands regardless of iwi opposition, Prime Minister John Key says.

Legislation which will establish New Zealand’s largest ocean sanctuary 1000km northeast of the North Island will be introduced in Parliament tomorrow. ?? Read more »

Let me guess…there’s a taniwha there, right?

As night follows day, Maori have rights over the Kermadecs they want to enforce…watch the brownmail ramp up.

Plans to set up one of the largest ocean sanctuaries in the world breach Treaty of Waitangi obligations and extremely late-notice consultation was cynical, the Maori Fisheries Trust says.

The strong criticism comes after Labour said the Government’s “care free” approach to establishing the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary could lead to legal challenges from iwi.

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith dismissed that, saying consultation had been adequate and the idea well-received.

However, today the Maori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana (TOK), has issued a statement slamming the Government’s “cynical” consultation on the project.

“To inform Te Ohu Kaimoana (as the agent of the Treaty partners) a mere 10 hours before the Prime Minister’s announcement at the United Nations and call it consultation is cynical,” the joint statement from TOK chairman Matiu Rei and chief executive Peter Douglas said. ? Read more »

Labour re-heats flag strategy over Kermadecs

Labour had a policy to change the flag and got their undies in a bunch because John Key got to try to implement it first. As a consequence they tied themselves in knots opposing a policy that was their own in the first place and then let the Greens gazzump them at the final hurdle and claim some credit for sorting out an issue.

Now Labour appear to be re-heating the same tactics, this time over John Key’s announcement of a new ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec islands. Just two days ago?they were moaning up a storm about how John Key had “stolen” their policy. Yesterday they implemented the “flag strategy” and are now scaremongering over the policy which is the same as theirs.

Plans to set up one of the largest ocean sanctuaries in the world could be open to legal challenges from iwi, Labour says.

“[We] welcome the establishment of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary but we do have concerns the Government’s carefree approach is denying iwi involvement and could lead to legal challenges,” Labour fisheries spokesman Rino Tirikatene said. ? Read more »

Face of the Day

Apparently it is an amphipod:

From the depths of the Kermadec Trench, New Zealand scientists have retrieved the largest known examples of a creature that looks like a giant albino flea.

On a recent research trip to the trench to determine how far down fish could be found, staff from Niwa and the University of Aberdeen found “supergiant” amphipods ? deep-sea scavengers that feed on dead material.

“When the first big trap came out, first of all we said, great, we’ve got five fish,” Niwa’s Ashley Rowden said.

“But then we looked and said, `What the hell is that?”‘

Not only were the amphipods a record size ? the biggest was just over 28 centimetres ? but they were found seven kilometres below the ocean’s surface, far deeper than before.

Deep-sea amphipods, a relation of the sandhoppers that can be found on any beach, are typically two or three centimetres long. The research team knew of only two occasions when “supergiants” had been found anywhere in the world, with the last Kermadec sightings in the 1950s.