New marine area advisers appointed

Two new guardians have been appointed to the group charged with protecting the Fiordland marine area.

Environment Minister David Parker appointed the two new Fiordland marine guardians and reappointed three existing ones.

The guardians provide advice and promote co-operation to help maintain and improve Fiordland’s marine environment and protect the area’s taonga species.

Collectively, the group has deep knowledge and understanding of the place and aims to work with mana whenua, commercial and recreational fishers, tourism operators, recreational users, marine scientists, conservationists and the local community.

John Cushen and Gavin Tayles will join the guardians, while Dr Rebecca McLeod, Mark Peychers and Stewart Bull have all been reappointed.

Mr Cushen has worked in Fiordland as a tourism business adviser, nature guide and boat skipper.

He is involved in several community conservation projects, including Predator Free Rakiura, the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust, the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust and the Tuckers Beach Wildlife Reserve group.

Fellow new appointee Mr Tayles’ heritage is in Southland and he resides in rural Northern Southland.

He has had a lifelong association with recreation in Fiordland National Park and has been a recreational fisher and diver in the marine area for more than 20 years.

Reappointed guardian Dr McLeod has been with the group since 2012 and chairwoman since 2015. She is a keen scientific and recreational diver and boatie.

Mr Bull and Mr Peychers have served as guardians since the group’s establishment in 2005.

Mr Bull was nominated by Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and has extensive knowledge of customary fishing management and resource use in Fiordland, while Mr Peychers provides more than 30 years’ commercial fishing experience.

The group is established under the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005, and advises central and local government on the integrated management of the Fiordland marine area.

Fiordland Marine Guardians

Dr Rebecca McLeod (chairwoman), Stewart Bull, Dr Kerri-Anne Edge Hill, Mark Peychers, Peter Young, Alison Ballantine, John Cushen, Gavin Tayles.

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