Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary plan still on the table: Shaw

Green leader denies a dirty deal between Labour and NZ First — or at least that it's a done deal.

Green Party leader James Shaw says the Kermadec Marine Sanctuary is still on the table — despite a Fairfax report yesterday that Labour had scotched the marine reserve as part of its coalition pact with NZ First, which now ranks ex-Sealord chairman Shane Jones in its ranks.

Early on Sunday, the Greens seemed blindsided by developments.

But later in the day, Mr Shaw told TVNZ 1’s Q+A programme that the scheme is still on the negotiating table.

"Yes, well, it’s certainly still on the table. Obviously, there’s still a lot of issues to work through. It is a complicated issue, but we are still committed to doing our best effort to making sure that it happens," the Greens leader said.

Asked if the sanctuary was in jeopardy, Mr Shaw said, "No, I don’t think so. It is a complicated issue. We absolutely need to work alongside Maori in order to make sure that it happens, but I think that we are all committed to making sure that it does."

On water issues, Mr Shaw said the Greens will be pushing for a package to help farmers make the transition to more sustainable ways of farming.

In response to a question about whether the Greens want to cap cow numbers or lower them, Mr Shaw replied:

"No, I don’t think that you’ll see much activity on that in the immediate future, but I do think that what we are aiming to do is to work with the market itself to say, ‘Well, what are some things that we can put in place to make that transition, over the course of the next few years, to more sustainable ways of farming'."


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