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Maori name attached to ocean sanctuary

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/07/2016

The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary has had a Maori name attached to it - now it's the Kermadec/Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary.

The change was made by the parliamentary committee that heard public submissions on the bill that creates the sanctuary.

It has been sent back to parliament with minor amendments, and can now go through its final stages.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says the dual name, a request made by Maori submitters, is appropriate.

The proposed sanctuary covers 620,000 square kilometres of ocean in an area about 1000km north-east of New Zealand.

Dr Smith says it's one of the most special and pristine marine environments in the world.

In May an opinion poll showed close to 90 per cent of New Zealanders support its creation but it faces a legal challenge from fishing interests.

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