Teen lobbies against NZKS plans
Research the effects yourself, says teenPENNY WARDLE
A 17-year-old girl from a remote area of the Marlborough Sounds made her second trip to the unfamiliar surrounds of Wellington on Saturday to protest plans to develop nine more salmon farms in the region.
Leona Plaisier handed out pamphlets at the Michael Fowler Centre where Masterchef 2011 winner Nadia Lim was giving a demonstration sponsored by NZ King Salmon, the Nelson-based company that has applied for consent to develop the farms.
Miss Plaisier has spent her life on Tui Nature Reserve in the outer Pelorus Sound where her family works to restore native plants and animals and host tourists.
She and supporters handed out 600 information cards on Saturday afternoon and displayed photographs and film of marine wildlife in the Sounds, as well as damage they claim the company's existing farms have done to the seabed.
The protest was timed to coincide with the Wellington On a Plate event.
''I want Nadia and others to research for themselves the effects of salmon farms and .th.th. what it would mean if nine more were added,'' she said.
Many people came straight from the cooking class to her stand, Miss Plaisier said. They told people in the class had asked questions about feeding salmon on protein including chicken feathers and fat.
Her motivation for the trip to Wellington was realising few people had the time or energy to make a submissions on the NZ King Salmon application. She had put her study aside while she worked almost fulltime on the cause, but she realised others did not have this opportunity. She was learning a lot about New Zealand legal processes, marine and social sciences and social media as a publicity tool.
''I feel the application process disincentivises people to have an input,'' Miss Plaisier said. ''It is unfair to people without considerable time and resources and is not local-friendly.''
To encourage especially young people who had not made a submission to mark their opposition to the salmon farms, she has started a petition at sharamor.co.nz, which had collected 300 signatures.
The Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry convened to consider the application by NZ King Salmon to develop the new farms will open it hearing in Blenheim on Monday, August 27, and is set down for up to 10 weeks.
- The Marlborough Express