Will Greens compromise for a Kermadec sanctuary solution?

The Kermadec sanctuary isn’t dead in the Government water, perhaps. Labour and NZ First are working on a way to make it happen, but it will require agreement with the Greens, which will require compromise.

Stuff:  Winston Peters says the Greens can have a Kermadec Sanctuary – with a catch

Hope for a Kermadec Sanctuary is back on the table and NZ First leader Winston Peters is confident he can do a deal with the Green Party by the end of the year.

The deal would involve a compromise from the Greens though – accepting that the sanctuary won’t be a 100 per cent no-fishing zone.

While the previous government’s bill to establish it passed its first reading unopposed in 2016, iwi bodies and fishing companies subsequently filed legal action against it. NZ First, which has close ties to the fishing industry, raised serious concerns about the legislation.

But there’s renewed hope that the Green Party, a supply and confidence partner for the coalition Government, might get its wish after Peters and Environment Minister David Parker decided to work together to try to find a compromise.

o keep the fishing industry happy and to ensure iwi with fishing rights under the Treaty of Waitangi are on board, Peters is proposing a mixed model that allows for roughly 95 per cent marine reserve and 5 per cent fishing.

Peters says it’s entirely possible to preserve species while allowing a small percentage of fishing to keep interested parties on side.

He said the Greens would need to decide whether it was more important to have the best part of a sanctuary, or no sanctuary at all.

Asked how quickly Peters thought he and Parker could convince the Greens to get on board with a mixed model, he said he was optimistic a deal could be reached by the end of the year.

This will pose a challenge for the Green Party, although they have committed to trying to make it happen via their confidence and supply agreement with Labour, which includes:

Use best endeavours and work alongside Māori to establish the Kermadec/ Rangitāhua
Ocean Sanctuary.

Best endeavours should include being prepared to work alongside NZ First and Labour to find a way of making the Kermadec sanctuary happen.

This is a commitment by the whole of the Green Party, as they ratified the confidence and supply agreement.

If they’re not prepared to revive it, National may be prepared to talk to Labour and/or NZ First. Nick Smith has a members’ bill in the ballot aimed at progressing the sanctuary.


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 11, 2018

    NZF’s fishing ties are at least better than Trump’s affaire with the NRA !

  2. Gezza

     /  May 11, 2018

    The Greens are going to have a proper consultation with Maori this time. Marama Davidson should be well-placed to walk them thru this aspect.