Coromandel MP Scott Simpson’s Mangrove Management Bill will have submissions heard in Thames, to enable local people to more easily have their say.
The bill aims to wrest control of mangroves on the Coromandel from Waikato Regional Council and put it in the hands of Thames Coromandel and Hauraki District Councils.
The impetus comes from the special mangrove management rate, which Waikato Regional Council has imposed for the last six or seven years on the people of Whangamata.
“It’s raised about $1.
5m - maybe more - but very little of that money has actually been spent on physically managing the mangroves,” says Scott.
“Most of it has been spent on consultants, on reports, on appeals and objections and that sort of stuff.
“The good folk of Thames Coromandel, where mangroves are a huge issue, are saying this is a really poor use of the money.
Why can’t we create our own mangrove management plan, bypass the process and just get on and deal with it ourselves?“So that’s what the bill aims to do.
”Scott says the bill is not providing a “scorched earth” policy to remove every mangrove, and insists it is just about managing them in places where they are having a negative impact on people’s lives.
The bill will only cover the Thames Coromandel Districts, but Scott understand the Western Bay of Plenty District Council is interested, as are some others.
“This is not a debate about why the mangroves are there, how they got there or what’s causing their proliferation,” adds Scott.
“This is about the fact that the mangroves that are there are causing real problems in people’s day-to-day lives, and we have to have efficient ways of managing them.
”Parliament’s Governance and Administration select committee will travel to Thames to hear submissions on March 16.