Letters to the editor - Marlborough Express

Resources on the proposed relocation of salmon farms at MPI's 'drop-in session' in Waikawa last month. Numbers at the ...

Resources on the proposed relocation of salmon farms at MPI's 'drop-in session' in Waikawa last month. Numbers at the session were very low.

Meaningful engagement

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) needs to hold a public meeting in Blenheim to explain its proposal to enable NZ King Salmon to have more farms in high-flow areas of the Marlborough Sounds prohibited to aquaculture.

I attended an MPI drop-in session in Blenheim on February 15 and, on reflection, feel this was designed to tick the box of public consultation. Three Ministry for Primary Industries employees were in a room with booklets on tables and posters on the walls promoting the proposal, waiting for people to come and ask them questions.

Not surprisingly, few attended. I suspect this format was chosen to avoid media coverage and dissenting voices which a public meeting may attract.

One thing I am asking is why the Ministry is pushing for more high-flow sites in areas where aquaculture is prohibited, before NZ King Salmon has demonstrated that it can manage pollution in existing high-flow sites. The most recent monitoring reports are for 2015 with 2016 results not due until May 2017. That's after the March 27 deadline for public comment and advisory panel hearings in April.

In Monday's Express, I see the Waitaria Bay drop-in session became a public meeting and ask that this format be repeated in Blenheim, to inform anyone planning to send in written comments.

For people to be properly consulted, they need first to be engaged and told what is proposed, to hear from those who have concerns and be able to ask questions in a public forum.

Penny Wardle



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Celebrating culture

A kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, sights and smells transformed Pollard Park last Saturday when the Marlborough Multicultural Festival, hosted by the Marlborough Migrant Centre, took place.

The festival unites the community in a celebration and sharing of culturally diverse dance, food and performance, and has become an important event on the Marlborough calendar, not simply because it's fun and colourful, but because it embraces cultural diversity and provides the opportunity for our ethnic people to showcase their culture, and feel they have a visible and valued place here. 

Local Marlburians, too, are able to see the richness of the ethnic mix of people who call Marlborough home.

As our province becomes more diverse the connections between people at individual and local level are important to building social cohesion and providing a platform for a thriving community.  The festival provided that platform.  The large crowd who supported the event evidenced the community spirit of Marlborough – a testament to our inclusive, connected and welcoming community.

The Migrant Centre is grateful to everyone who gave their time and efforts to making the festival a success.  Our thanks to the Marlborough Express for wonderful coverage. Thank you also to our sponsors, performers, stallholders, volunteers and public who came along; without your support the event would not be the success that it was.  So, our sincere thanks to everyone involved.

Margaret Western

Manager, Migrant Services


Stock on roads

So Marlborough District Council is reviewing a bylaw about moving stock on our roads and may even decide to charge farmers for the privilege and require a traffic management plan? (Marlborough Express, March 7).

Council is quoted as saying that "Livestock being driven along or across a road could create a road safety hazard and damage road surfaces through effluent waste".

Is council also considering the conditions that apply to the wine industry? Not just spills but harvesters with gondolas in tow moving at painfully slow speeds on not just council roads but our State Highways as well.

Is there a difference? Yes. One is rare - the other continual for weeks on end.

John Sinclair



Wairau Hospital

Recently I was a patient at Wairau Hospital. I found the doctors and nurses very friendly and helpful  to me which I appreciated very much. We even had a bit of a giggle at times.

No doubt they have good and bad days and have critics lurking in the wings. which seems to happen in all businesses dealing with the public. I feel Wairau Hospital is serving Marlborough exceptionally well and sets a high standard of care.

Richard Russell




Re: Ban on dredging by Piero Rocco (Marlborough Express, March 2).

I don't believe banning recreational scallop dredging is necessary. There should be regulations for recreational dredges, ie maximum size and only chains, no dredges with tynes.

With the imminent reduction to bag limits this will amount to less dredging.

Most of the recent damage to the Sounds' blue cod fishery was caused by the stupid slot rules, and it is ongoing with the new 33-centimetre minimum size limit.

Blue Cod Management Group announced the minimum size will be 33cm, and almost in the same breath said were not sure this is the right size. If they weren't sure, why not leave it at 30cm, that's what it's been for the last 100 years, except for a few years of variations that didn't work. One would think that reducing the number of fish returned to the sea, is a very important part of the process.

Roger Randall


 - The Marlborough Express


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