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Opportunities Available To Prevent Plant Closures

MEDIA RELEASE
16 August 2002

Opportunities Available To Prevent Plant Closures

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission said today it would be unfortunate if Ngai Tahu now chose to close plants and lay workers off as reported in today’s “The Press”.

“Of course, while we do not know the details of their business, this appears to be premature,” the Chairman of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, Shane Jones, said today.

The Commission is to meet with Ngai Tahu to discuss allocation proposals, and that meeting will cover all of their issues. Similar meetings are to be held with all Iwi around the country over the next seven weeks.

Each year, the Commission has made available the Settlement quota to Iwi on a lease basis, which was in no way related to, or would have any bearing on, the allocation model.

“Ngai Tahu has built a substantial business on the basis of access to this leased quota. The commercial decisions they have made regarding their access to that quota, however, cannot influence the Commission’s final allocation proposals,” Mr Jones said.

“The Commission is sympathetic with Ngai Tahu’s situation. Following allocation, the same amount of fish will need to be caught and processed. There will be substantial opportunities for all Iwi to form relationships with other quota holders to work together,” he said.

“We would fully expect Ngai Tahu to be confident, given their record in this industry.”

ENDS

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