2 Nov 2012

Marlborough mayor wants coastal commission set up

10:20 pm on 2 November 2012

The Marlborough District mayor has told an conference on aquaculture a coastal commission needs to be set up to investigate further opportunities for industry growth.

Mayors from aquaculture areas throughout New Zealand held a forum in Nelson on Friday.

Marlborough mayor Alistair Sowman says the Government is not providing enough direction in its plan to build aquaculture into a $1 billion industry and a commission should be set up.

Other mayors mostly supported the idea, but Opotiki mayor John Forbes says there should be less intervention from central government on the path to growing aquaculture.

Thames Coromandel District Council chief executive David Hammond says aquaculture is on par with agriculture in his region and the $72 million shellfish business is set to grow to $135 million by 2025.

Aquaculture farmers spoken to by Radio New Zealand described the commission plan as another talk committee, saying what is needed is better collaboration with experienced farmers.