Delaware debacle—tits on a bull moment?

‘Kiwis have a God-given right to fish!’

If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that statement, I wouldn’t have to write this article. The simple truth is, a God-given right is as valuable as tits on a bull if you can’t get to the fish!

In other words, access is the key fundamental right we need to preserve… kiss goodbye to access—kiss goodbye to fishing. Put bluntly, that threat is real.

Circle Monday 9 October on your calendar

Nelson City Council, with full support of all bar three of its elected councillors, has forced the Delaware Bay Access Group into the Environment Court to defend your right of access. The hearing is set for Monday 9 October in Nelson and will determine the legality of driving vehicles on the foreshore to launch and retrieve boats near Bishops Peninsula at the end of Māori Pa Road—a right that has existed since before the city of Nelson was officially gazetted!

But why should you worry about Delaware Bay? Chances are, like me, you don’t even launch there. The answer is simple:

Monday 9 October is a ‘Tits on a bull’ moment!

Thousands of launch sites could go

This is no longer just a Delaware issue, because a loss in court will set a legal precedent that could require ALL unregistered and unformed beach launching sites throughout New Zealand to have Resource Consent—imagine that bureaucratic quagmire. Kiss goodbye to unfettered access to our public resources; a right to catch fish is worthless if you can’t get to them!

The Delaware Bay Access Group has presented a far more comprehensive, thorough, and reasoned legal submission to the Environment Court than either Nelson City Council or Iwi, WITHOUT the resources of the others. Remember, Nelson City Council has used your rate payer money against you!

However, we need a further $20,000 dollars now to see this through on your behalf.

How much is your fishing worth to you— really?

While many have donated already, and some repeatedly, the bulk of the money raised to get us this far has come from four or five very generous individuals who have put in thousands of dollars each – including Fish Mainland (Interestingly, none of the principal donors launch boats there). To put it into perspective and demonstrate the scale of what we are up against, at a public meeting we attracted around 150 fishers who used the area and are passionate about saving access. We raised $500, which was greatly appreciated. However, far more was spent over the bar on beer, that night!

In the past year alone, this process has cost the Delaware Bay Access Group approximately $25,000!

Step up and help us finish this fight

We appreciate that many have already donated but we still need to raise $20,000 by 10 Sept to present our legal challenge in court—what are you prepared to give?

Please pay your donation to:

Delaware Bay Access Group Incorporated Society, bank account: 06-09580210014-00

For other forms of help, please email to: [email protected]

Please encourage friends and businesses to give generously.

Spread the word folks!

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