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Aquaculture Moratorium Will Hurt Maori

20 February 2002

"The Government has made a mockery of its commitment to Maori employment opportunities and regional development with its proposed moratorium on new aquaculture developments," says National Conservation spokesman Alec Neill.

Mr Neill says that a large number of Maori interest groups have appeared before the Primary Production Select Committee - which is currently hearing the aquaculture legislation - claiming if the moratorium were to be implemented, job opportunities in rural, isolated areas where many of their people live will be lost.

"This Government is always claiming to assist and help develop Maori economic aspirations, but its proposed aquaculture moratorium will severely disadvantage Maori. This is a disgrace and the Minister of Maori Affairs should be ashamed that he is not prepared to fight for his own constituency.

"The moratorium in its present form has a disproportionate affect on Maori and will stifle the economic development of Iwi all over New Zealand.

Mr Neill said Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia should be worried about how his Government's policy will affect the employment prospects of young Maori.

"Maori have come a long way in aquaculture development over the last few years and are at the leading edge of the industry. But now, when they have started to make real progress, the Labour/Alliance Government intends slamming the door in their face," Mr Neill concluded.


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