“Our vision is to promote an ecologically sound and economically viable seaweed industry which ensures the long term sustainability of this precious marine resource for future generations.”
The purpose of SANZ is to be the primary platform of engagement, representation, and advocacy for all aspects relating to the seaweed industry in New Zealand.
SANZ has been an active voice in the New Zealand seaweed industry for over 20 years. The beginning of the association dates back to the mid 1990’s when an inaugural meeting was hosted at Wellington’s Te Papa to discuss the status of seaweed in New Zealand. This was a momentous event for the New Zealand seaweed industry, being the first of its nature to bring together key stakeholders - including scientists, environmentalists, historical seaweed collectors, Maori, and industry members.
A key discussion point of the inaugural meeting was seaweed being ‘earmarked’ for inclusion to the Quota Management System. This is a volume based fish stock quota which permits an annual total allowable catch (kg) of a stock in a particular area. Concerns were centred around the many ecosystem services that seaweeds provide - including oxygen and nutrient availability, food, shelter, and nursery habitat. It was feared that too little/ no research had been performed to understand any potential implications arising from inclusion of seaweed into a volume-based management framework such as the QMS. It was noted that seaweed is the one single fishery that has the potential to negatively effect other high value inshore fisheries.
Discussions from the 1990’s Te Papa meeting prompted development of the founding SANZ document and its subsequent registration as an Incorporated Society. The document took 18 months to finalise and continues to pinpoint the key aims and objectives of the association today.
Guiding aims and principles (Kaupapa)
SANZ is centred on fourteen core aims and principles which guide and underpin all actions made by the committee, as follows:
- To promote and ensure the ecological sustainability of seaweed in New Zealand.
- To promote a sustainable and viable seaweed industry for New Zealand.
- To actively lobby for the development of an integrated national plan to recognise and protect marine ecosystems that are critical for New Zealand seaweed and other marine life.
- To ensure a precautionary approach is adopted for the management of New Zealand seaweed.
- To support research based ecosystem management of the New Zealand seaweed resource.
- To collect collate and disseminate information.
- To support research to identify New Zealand seaweed species that are economically important.
- To promote New Zealand seaweed uses and products for sustainable development.
- To foster productive collaborative relationships between stakeholders and with government by actively encouraging and supporting co-operative and inclusive processes, the active involvement of all stakeholders in management processes and inclusive co-management practices between government and stakeholders.
- To promote the sustainable development of the New Zealand seaweed industry by linking harvesting opportunities and management processes to habitat stewardship and Kaitiakitanga at the community level so that local economic development is linked to the healthy carrying capacity of associated ecosystems.
- To recognise Treaty of Waitangi obligations and to promote local community co-management practices for management of the New Zealand seaweed resource in order to facilitate the economic development of those local communities and the protection of the local marine ecosystems.
- To promote excellence within the industry, a high level of understanding, education and information exchange about New Zealand seaweed uses and management and the protection of ecosystems.
- To promote or oppose bills, legislation or other measures or by-laws affecting the said industry, and the interests of members in accordance with the Association’s objectives.
- To encourage a high standard of service, honourable practice and equitable relationships among New Zealand seaweed stakeholders.