Ministry for Primary Industries releases proposal to relocate six King Salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds

Salmon in a King Salmon hatchery, in Marlborough.

Salmon in a King Salmon hatchery, in Marlborough.

The central government wants to relocate up to six salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds, forcing a change to the region's aquaculture rules. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries has said moving New Zealand King Salmon farms in the Pelorus Sound and the Tory Channel area to different locations would bring environmental and economic benefits. 

Waitata Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds, would not be moved.

Waitata Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds, would not be moved.

The plan comes after months of discussions with the Marlborough Sounds Salmon Working Group, which included representatives from the Marlborough District Council, MPI, community and interest groups, iwi, and NZ King Salmon. 

Kenepuru and Central Sounds Residents Association member Hanneke Kroon, who sat on the working group, was concerned about the proposal, saying it bypassed the usual safeguards. 

* Three Marlborough Sounds salmon farms in the spotlight after failing to meet environmental guidelines
New Zealand leading the way with sustainable salmon 
New salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds nearly ready

One new salmon farm is proposed for the Tory Channel: two would be removed.

One new salmon farm is proposed for the Tory Channel: two would be removed.

Relocating the farms would require amending the council's Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan, which the ministry could alter by recommending regulations under the Resource Management Act. 

"It bypasses the council, it bypasses the Environment Court," Kroon said. ​

According to an MPI consultation document, consent applications would not be publicly notified as they would usually be during the resource consent process, for residents to make submissions.

Some of the proposed new sites in the Pelorus Sound area.

Some of the proposed new sites in the Pelorus Sound area.

However the council could still give "limited notification" to any affected person, to enable them to have their say. 

Ad Feedback

"The regulations will address the substantive effects of salmon farming, and the public has the opportunity to input at this stage," the document said. 

There will be an eight-week consultation period on the proposal, beginning today. 

Kroon said she understood the salmon working group was set up to address best practice issues, and the proposal that had come out of the discussions - six new farms - seemed completely different.

The entrance to Pelorus Sound had a rich array of wildlife, including the rare king shag, and she was concerned about the salmon farms' effects on wildlife. 

"This whole idea is to the detriment of the Pelorus Sound," she said. 

The salmon working group was set up last year, in response to a Cawthron Institute report which revealed King Salmon's Forsyth, Ruakaka and Otanerau farms were not running in a way that enabled them to meet best management practice guidelines.

The report found pollution under pens and seabed enrichment, caused by fish waste falling on the seabed and uneaten fish food.​

King Salmon has resource consents for 11 salmon farms within the Sounds, and the MPI consultation document said three other low-flow areas were also predicted to have issues meeting the best-practice standards. 

Existing King Salmon farm sites which could be relocated are Ruakaka Bay, Otanerau Bay, Forsyth Bay, Waihinau Bay, and two farms in Crail Bay which have not been stocked since 2011. 

Potential new sites are Blowhole Point North and South, the middle of the Waitata channel, the southern part of Richmond Bay, and Horseshoe Bay, as well as Tio Point in the Tory Channel.​

The consultation paper said moving farms to sites where the water was deeper, with higher flows, would provide for a more sustainable, productive, and resilient industry. 

"To secure a consent to farm at a new site, applicants would have to relinquish consents and close down operations at an existing lower flow site," the document said. 

Kroon said she was worried if the proposal was implemented the residents' association would have no recourse apart from the High Court, which would be expensive. 

A Marlborough District Council spokeswoman said the council was satisfied the proposal put forward reflected various perspectives.  

"The consultative process getting underway now allows for more input from those various viewpoints," she said. 

King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne said the new proposal had the dual benefit of being better for the environment and better for the company. 

In the proposal there was no overall increase in total surface area used for salmon farming in the Sounds. 

MPI predicted the relocated farms could contribute up to $49 million annually to Marlborough's regional GDP, and up to 511 fulltime jobs. 

"Economic gains would occur over about 10 to 15 years as the sites are relocated and then developed in stages," the consultation paper said. 

Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith said he was confident the process had been handled appropriately, and was satisfied there were both environmental and economic benefits to the proposal. 

Kenepuru and Central Sounds Residents Association marine committee member Trevor Offen was worried and said the mid-channel farm would raise a multitude of issues in terms of navigation and visual concerns. 

It was generally understood Horseshoe Bay and Richmond Bay were also too warm to farm salmon, Offen said. 

However Rosewarne said the company's high-flow site in the Pelorus Sound area got good results, despite the temperature. 

"The flow in the area seems to make up for that." 

The MPI consultation paper said King Salmon would be required to provided advanced real-time monitoring buoys to ensure cumulative water quality effects were monitored and managed. 

Public drop-in sessions would be held during the consultation period, and hui would be held with iwi authorities. 

Confirmed dates, times and venues for public drop-in sessions and public hearings would be available on the MPI website. 

Written submissions had to be received by 5pm on March 27. 

A  Marlborough Salmon Farm Relocation Advisory Panel comprised of independent resource management experts would hear submissions.

 - The Marlborough Express


Ad Feedback
special offers

Poi dancing good for elderly

Poi, a traditional Maori dance, involves weights on the ends of cords being spun in circular patterns.

The Maori dance can help seniors improve their balance and memory, according to a new study.

Wakeboarder towed by seaplane

Brad Smeele, Brant Hales and Jesse Cassrels set new standards to raise awareness.

Wakeboarder Brad Smeele injured his spine three years ago. His friends are going to extremes to help raise awareness.

Auckland teacher shortage will get worse

More than two thirds of Auckland's new primary and intermediate teachers are thinking about leaving the city, a new ...

More than two thirds of Auckland's new primary and intermediate teachers considering moving due to cost of living, survey reveals.

Digger flips, driver trapped

Emergency crews are working to free the driver after his digger flipped over in Flat Bush on Monday afternoon.

Emergency crews are working to free the driver after an incident in Auckland's Flat Bush.


Capital's cycle lanes a Kiwi-first

A proposed new contra-flow bike lane on Wellington's Cuba St will allow people to ride both ways along part of the ...

Proposed new lanes will allow Wellington's cyclists to ride against the flow of traffic.

Ticketed in free park

Shane Leach has been parking his motorhome in the free car park since November, but has been ticketed twice by Wilson ...

The tiny car park is a "hidden gem" in the capital. That didn't stop Wilson Parking.

Celebrations timed rugby team out

Masterton Red Star have received a valuable reminder about converting tries in a timely fashion.

With seconds to go, they scored a try. But their celebratory high-fives came too soon - and went on too long.

Do we have hazard fatigue?

Civil Defence says it's important to follow a trusted source for official warnings.

Study finds widespread scepticism of official disaster warnings.


Huts still under water video

24072017 News Photo:David Walker/Stuff. Aerial view of the Lower Selwyn huts.

Why was Canterbury's Lake Ellesmere was not opened to the sea ahead of the weekend's flooding?

More rain, snow likely

Snow at Tekapo

Heavy rain and snow are set to hit on Thursday when a new polar blast hits.

Ballantynes gears up for new build

Ballantynes was one of the first central city retailers to reopen after the February 2011 earthquake.

Department store to reopen some departments in new premises while it rebuilds.

Anger at flooding

Southshore's estuary frontage at the weekend.

Southshore residents angry homes flooded in storm's tidal surge due to lack of protection.


Gunpoint carjacking arrest

People were seen exiting a central Hamilton home with their hands up during the arrest on Monday afternoon.

Man arrested over the gunpoint carjacking of a Chevrolet Caprice in Hamilton.

Dairy owners fearful

The owner of the Holland Superette in Fairfield, Hamilton, was struck in the head with a hammer after refusing to hand ...

Terrified shopkeeps play robbery roulette and with odds stacked against them.

Chiefs up against history

Liam Messam and the Chiefs are up against history as they try to stay alive in Super Rugby.

No team has travelled from South Africa to New Zealand, then won a playoff match since 1998.

Millions in profit, nil tax

Chris Joblin, chief executive of Tainui Group Holdings.

A longstanding tax break has the usual suspects fired up, but Waikato-Tainui is happy to announce record breaking profits.


Faull family success

06042017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ.   Saturday big read,  Faull Farms at Tikorangi is one of Taranakis biggest ...

Gavin Faull is one of two Taranaki entries on the latest NBR Rich List.

A virtual remedy

Digital health deputy Janine Maruera photographs Makaiah Nui's tummy as she is held by cousin Tesha Whakatutu,  during ...

A combination of local gumption and modern technology is bringing health care to a town with no doctor.

'Moonshine' madness 

Drunk on home brew whisky or "moonshine" a South Taranaki man assaulted his partner and drove dangerously. (File Photo)

 A South Taranaki farmer was so drunk on moonshine he had little memory of assaulting his partner.

Something beginning with C

240717 News Photo. SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF
Central School in New Plymouth has had the 'C' stolen from its front entrance. ...

Be on the lookout for a missing C. It belongs to Entral School, formerly known as Central School.


Fresh future for college

New Queen Elizabeth College principal Chris Moller was welcomed with a powhiri on Monday. He wore the school's korowai ...

Shifting from esteemed boarding school to smaller college is a meaningful challenge, a principal says.

Another gorge slip

A new slip has fallen on the already-closed Manawatu Gorge road.

The closed Manawatu Gorge road is blocked by a third slip that came down this weekend.

Vaping up in smoke

Jason Seath and Jessica Byron of Hawke's Bay Vapour demonstrate vaping. Seath says people are turning to it to quit smoking.

Vapers say mayor blowing hot air after he votes for vape-free city policy.

Last supper for church video

Bishop's Warden Steve Fowler outside the church building.

Earthquake prone Levin church has been part of the community since the 1890s.


Recyclable cups end up in landfill

Smart Environmental manager Yuri Schokking with recycled plastic at the Richmond Resource Recovery Centre.

Almost all our disposable coffee cups are going nowhere near the recycling plant.

Coming back to life

Peter Sutton says he wholeheartedly endorses the AgeConnect project.

AgeConnect Nelson Tasman is launched to target loneliness, social isolation affecting older people.

Weekend crime spree

The door at the Milton Street Store in Nelson was replaced with a sheet of plywood after a ram-raid attack on the store ...

Another dairy raid caps a spate of crimes across Nelson on a busy weekend for police.

Cadets' voyage of discovery

The Nelson Sea Cadets with LTCOL Josh Wineera, New Zealand Defence Advisor to Fiji and LT Sam Wilson, Military Liaison ...

It was hardly smooth sailing, but Nelson's young sailors learned plenty about theimselves.


Guerrilla knitters yarn-bomb town

West End retailers Stephanie Thompson and Jacqui Harnett are behind Kaikoura's yarn-bombing project.

Many a good yarn has come out of quake-hit Kaikoura over the past few months, and that doesn't seem to be wrapping up anytime soon.

Teen denies knifepoint robbery

Dylan Joseph Dredge admitted seven charges at the Blenheim District Court. (File photo)

He wasn't trying to rob the woman, he was just attacking her with a knife, court hears.

First look at Kaikoura village video

The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Accommodation Village.

Mark von Huben​ normally wears a tour guide's hat when he visits Kaikoura - now he's behind the wheel of a dump truck carting rubble away from slips blocking SH1.

$231m boost for SH1

A slip on State Highway 1 after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

New cycleway announced for 60km section of quake-hit highway north of Kaikoura.

South Canterbury

'Lake' consumes farm

Farmer Geoff Wallace on his Hook Swamp Rd property, which is still inundated with water.

Rapidly rising water in a flood-prone area meant a South Canterbury farmer ended up with a trailer load of dead calves.

$500k clean-up bill gallery video

Ashbury Mowers & Heating business in Washdyke had to get rid of chainsaws and line trimmers that had water damage. ...

Cleaning up the Timaru District aftermath storm will come with $500k price tag.

'Tough as teak' ex-AB dies

Tom Lister played eight tests as an All Black against, Australia, France, Wales, South Africa and the 1971 British and ...

South Canterbury's most-capped test All Black Tom Lister dies, aged 73.

Chainsawing through

Ricky Hunter had no way out of his Bouverie St property other than on foot, after a tree fell down onto the driveway ...

In a bid for freedom after the weekend's storm, Ricky Hunter picked up a chainsaw.


"The culinary world has just lost a gentleman"

Scott Richardson, pictured here in 2015, in his role as a catering and hospitality teacher at Southland Boys' High School.

Well-known Invercargill chef Scott Richardson died this morning in Dunedin Hospital.

'Business as usual'

Aparima College principal Kaye Day. The latest Governmental report on the College said "urgent" improvement in ...

A troubled Southland secondary school is to continue as usual, despite its leadership coming under fire.

Hotel facing potential delays

Invercargill Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey in front of the proposed site of the ILT's new multi-million ...

The Invercargill Licensing Trust has unearthed some speed bumps in its plans to build a new inner city hotel.

Defending champions on fire

Wensley's Fire cyclists from left to right, Nick Barclay, Marty Jillings, Ben Coley and Tai-Anne Blair set off in the ...

The fire service team has confirmed its the fastest emergency service in Invercargill.

Ad Feedback