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North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams is relieved that Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology has announced a $250,000 Government fund over two years to research toxic slugs in the Hauraki Gulf.
"The Minister visited me on 30th July and I expressed my grave concerns that Government had not come forward with any funding to properly research this important health issue. I raised fears that the toxic sea slug season was nearly upon us, that we had hosted a "Toxic Slug Summit" of all interested parties on 19 February 2010 which had called for Government funding, but as at 30 July we still had no Government commitment. The Minister promised to go away and look at funding options." says Mayor Williams.
"I am now pleased and grateful that the Minister took my concerns on board, which I expressed on behalf of the people of North Shore and Auckland, and was able to get the wheels in motion on this matter. The $250,000 will allow the Cawthron Institute in Nelson to collaborate with the Hauraki Maori Trust Board, funded through Nga pae te Maramatanga which facilitates projects deemed important to Maori, such as seafood from the Hauraki Gulf."
"This is a great partnership project with Maori and they are to be thanked and congratulated for taking leadership in this important issue. This research is vitally important to determine what is happening in the Hauraki Gulf, and how best the authorities can then protect our people and animals from any contact with this lethal poison."