Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


National's hypocrisy bottomless - Cullen

"Either National's hypocrisy is bottomless or it is in the grip of mass amnesia," acting Fisheries Minister Michael Cullen said today.

"There is no other explanation for the attitude the National Opposition is taking toward the Fisheries Bill now going through its third reading in Parliament.

"I have to keep pinching myself to remember that this is the same party which decided in government that no compensation was due to commercial fishers who might have their catch history reduced by up to 20 percent," Dr Cullen said.

Dr Cullen was commenting on legislation to enable the eight species on the Fourth Schedule of the Fisheries Act 1996 to be brought into the Quota Management System. The schedule includes the South Island eel fishery which has to be brought into the QMS by 1 October to satisfy the terms of the 1998 Ngai Tahu Settlement. Other Fourth Schedule species are due to be brought into the QMS from 2002.

"National is now arguing that the bill should cover only the South Island eel resource and that the other seven species should be held out for further negotiation with industry stakeholders on a compensation regime.

"National told those same stakeholders to "get lost" when it was in office. It took the election of the Labour-Alliance Government to get fishers a fair deal.

"In fact what we are offering is more than fair. It is generous. We estimate the package is worth almost $50 million all up - around $4.5 million in direct payments and $45 million in assets," Dr Cullen said.

Under the Fisheries Settlement negotiated between Crown and Maori in 1992, it was agreed that the Crown would allocate 20 percent of the total allowable commercial catch to Maori as species were introduced to the QMS.

This means in effect that many current fishers will have their catch history reduced by up to 20 percent to enable the Crown to meet its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

"The Government will compensate them by paying them half the market value for this 20 percent. That is where the $4.5 million will go.

"They will be getting an asset they can sell, and from which they will get a capital gain. Unlike a fishing licence which must be renewed each year, quota is issued in perpetuity and therefore carries stronger property rights.

"Our advice is that the 80 percent stake has a current value of $45 million. Licence holders will be getting that at no charge," Dr Cullen said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

At one level, this has been the week that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln – which once led a civil war that ended the slave economy of the South – has now defined itself openly as being the party of white nationalism.

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>


RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>


Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>


Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>


$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>


The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>


Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>





InfoPages News Channels