In a humiliating climb-down, Warren Maher has finally retracted wrong claims he made repeatedly during the election campaign that Waikato Regional Council plans to close large areas of the Coromandel coast to recreational fishing. These bogus claims (now retracted) have been the centrepiece of Mr Maher’s campaign to be elected as the Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council.
As recently as last week in an address to the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club, Mr Maher said: “the Regional Council had planned for two years to close off large areas of the coast” to recreational fishers.
He has now retracted that statement in an interview with the Hauraki Coromandel Post (page 12), saying “they (the council) haven’t stated it”.
I called out these bogus claims at a recent election meeting.
I am pleased that a reputable independent media outlet with a qualified journalist has revealed this humiliating climb-down from Mr Maher. My repeated public statements during the election campaign that there are zero “no-take” marine reserves in the draft coastal plan have been accurate. I have acted throughout the campaign with honesty and integrity. Voters are urged to carefully scrutinise public statements made by candidates.
Throughout this election campaign, there has been misinformation circulating in social media and other media suggesting large areas of our coast would be shut off to recreational fishing by the regional council.
A local radio station posted a map showing aquaculture zones and areas of high marine biodiversity that wrongly implied that these areas were proposed council marine reserves. There are no marine reserves at all proposed in the council’s draft coastal plan. Even though these facts were well understood and accepted by this media outlet a month ago, this radio station again posted the same misleading map on social media just last week.
Time For Your Say
There are zero “no-take” marine reserves in the draft coastal plan.
There are strongly divergent views on these issues. It will be up to the public to make submissions to independent commissioners early next year to shape the final version of the plan. This is as it should be.
Whatever your views might be, I encourage your active participation in that process.
Learn more about my positive achievements as your regional councillor
Please vote – it’s not too late. Post your voting papers by Monday 3 October or hand deliver them to a TCDC council office by midday 8 October.
No voting papers? You can still cast a special vote. Contact a TCDC office or phone 0800 367656