Insight for Sunday 20 April 2014
Photo: Tonga Island Marine Reserve in the Abel Tasman National Park
More marine reserves than ever before - a genuine step forward for conservation, or nothing more than a token gesture?
The Government says it is committed to preserving New Zealand's marine environment with a record number of marine reserves due to be unveiled this year.
Photos under water in Ulva Island Marine Reserve by Vincent Zintzen. From left anemome, diver in kelp, blue cod
It recently announced proposals for its biggest one so far - a ten-thousand hectare reserve off the coast of Kaikoura.
But environmentalists say the introduction of more reserves is a clear contradiction when the Government continues to encourage oil and gas exploration.
Radio New Zealand's fisheries reporter, Alison Hossain, asks if New Zealand is paving the way as a world leader in marine protection or is at all just smoke and mirrors?