My Members Bill proposing practical regulations on shark cage diving has taken on greater relevance following the Supreme Court’s ruling that shark cage diving off Stewart Island is not an offence, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.
“The Shark Cage Diving (Permitting and Safety) Bill was drawn from the ballot in September 2018 and would ensure both people and sharks’ safety should it become law.
“The Bill provides conditions for granting permits relating to the geographical area within which the commercial shark cage diving operation may operate, as well as minimum distances of operation from specified locations among other conditions.
“It also regulates the activities of commercial shark cage diving in a way that would alleviate the safety concerns of those using the water for work or recreation.
“Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has previously not supported my Bill, but I hope she can change her mind and support these practical changes in light of the Supreme Court decision.
“She is also yet to explain why she didn’t appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgement that has now been overturned by the Supreme Court. Months have passed since this decision and she chose to completely remove herself from all responsibility, despite being the Minister in charge.
“With the Bill up soon for first reading, I hope the Minister takes the Supreme Court decision into consideration and changes her mind to supporting this practical legislation.”