Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


March for Māui This Sunday, 1pm Silo Park, Auckland

March for Māui This Sunday, 1pm Silo Park, Auckland

A ‘March for Māui’ this Sunday at 1pm from Silo Park, Auckland, will add to pressure on the Labour-led government to keep the programme of installing electronic video monitoring on the fishing fleet and to do more to protect Māui and Hector’s dolphins from accidental entrapment in fishing gear.

Māui and Hector’s dolphins are among the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphins, with some subspecies populations as low as around 63 adults (Māui) and 40 (South Island Otago ‘Pahu’ populations). They have experienced rapid decline since the 1970s, resulting in ‘critically endangered’ and ‘threatened’ status under the IUCN threat status classification, and repeated calls from the International Whaling Commission for New Zealand to do more to protect them.

Scientists say full habitat protection is required – out to about 100m deep or at least 12 nautical miles. Leading up to the last election, the parties now in the ruling coalition, vowed to improve protection, but both dolphin and recreational fishing advocates, say the government is betraying those promises and threatening to do less, not more.

The Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, is considering canning the electronic video monitoring programme which would have improved transparency and accountability on the fishing fleet, providing better information about the capture and dumping of non-target, undersize fish and endangered species such as Māui and Hector’s and other marine mammals and sea birds.

The ‘March for Māui’ is part of a wide expression of dissatisfaction in civil society about the government’s ‘broken promises’ and failure to oversee and regulate the fishing industry satisfactorily for sustainability purposes.

A 2014 economic report commissioned by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, found that more than 80% of New Zealanders wanted to see more protection for Māui and Hector’s dolphins, ‘but this government is suggesting doing less’ says Māui and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders Chairwoman, Christine Rose.

‘Protecting the fishing industry despite its proven waste and criminal by-catch, is more a priority than protecting critically endangered endemic dolphins’ says Mrs Rose.

‘We’ve lost progress on implementing the electronic monitoring scheme, despite it being critical to properly understanding trawling impacts on fish stocks and dolphin viability’. ‘There is evidence, and anecdotes from fishers about the scale of dolphins killed, that needs to be verified for consumers here and overseas to have confidence about the sustainability of our fishing sector’. ‘The absence of cameras undermines the ability for all sides to be confident of fishing impacts, and that regulation, monitoring and enforcement is in the best interests of fish stocks and other marine species survival’. ‘The Labour-led Government is seriously out of sync with its parties’ pre-election promises, and out of touch with what the public want’.

‘We call on the government to do more, not less, to protect Māui and Hector’s dolphins, and remain of the view that the Minister’s decision to delay and potentially withdraw electronic monitoring, is fatally flawed’.

‘Our march is accompanied by the installation of a large billboard condemning government inaction which is killing our dolphins, on Auckland’s Northern Motorway’. ‘It’s accompanied by petitions and lobbying from other NGOs such as WWF NZ, Forest and Bird, and LegaSea’.

Some in society question whether election donations from Talley’s and other conflicts of interests are having undue influence in fisheries management decisions. ‘We’ve heard allegations that Shane Jones, who has openly declared donations from Talley’s, is exerting pressure on Stuart Nash, affecting this decision’, says Mrs Rose. ‘Whatever Nash’s reasons, they’re scientifically and morally unfounded, unsustainable, and untenable if many of our endangered marine species are to survive –Māui and Hector’s but also sea lions and sea birds’.

‘That’s why we’ll be marching for Māui tomorrow, with effigies of Shane Jones and Stuart Nash, and will continue to pressure the government for better protection of Māui and Hector’s, in the interests of openness and accountability on the fishing fleet, and honesty and integrity in government’.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages