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Many Hats - Winston Peters Speech

Extracts from a speech given by Rt Hon Winston Peters
Plymouth International Hotel
New Plymouth
1.30pm Friday, 12 July 2002

Many Hats

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you here today – it is always a pleasure to attend your conferences.

As this one coincides with the election campaign I come wearing three different hats.

Of course, we all wear different hats:

 We are all citizens;

 We are all voters;

 We all here, presumably, are recreational fishers.

There are three simple messages for you to take away and consider:

 A political message – for you as citizens;

 A Party political message - for you as voters;

 A policy message - for you as Recreational Fishers.

As a citizen I have three major concerns:

 The lawlessness and violence in our society;

 The level of immigration and the ad hoc policy making in this area;

 The Treaty industry.


They are the three major things that New Zealand First has promised to fix in the next three years.

We have a simple question for you:

“Do you share those concerns?”

In our role as voters, I suggest that we are confronted with the clearest choice that we have had in a number of elections.

In most likely scenarios ACT and National are irrelevant.

Most of you will recall what happened when Labour last governed alone.

For anyone considering taking out some political insurance with their party vote, then the choice is Greens or New Zealand First. You need to think carefully about that.

For your specific recreational fishing interests let me outline where New Zealand First stands.

More than a million New Zealanders fish for fun and food every year - a right that needs to be clearly established for all New Zealanders, and responsibilities that need to be similarly clear.

New Zealand First supports the sustainable management of our fisheries and the protection of our marine environment.

More work needs to be done on clearly defining sustainable levels.

Areas of unique biodiversity should be protected but having a fixed percentage of our coastline protected seems to be an arbitrary way of arriving at the ‘best position’.

We also acknowledge that there is some confusion between the provisions of the Fisheries Act, the Marine Reserves Act, and the Conservation Act.

New Zealand First will be an important part of the next parliament with enough Members to ensure our representation on all Select Committees. You can be sure that our presence will add a perspective that has been missing from the deliberations of some Committees in this last term.

Let me state clearly, the public’s rights to our fisheries need to be defined and secured. New Zealand First does not support any moves to license saltwater fishing – it is our birthright – it is part of being a New Zealander. Licensing would create another bureaucracy - funding, offices, salaries and other mounting expenses would eventually be supported by levies.

Recreational fishers have an interest in the maintenance of our fish stocks and ought to be encouraged to participate in this management.

The three ‘stakeholders’ in our fisheries – New Zealanders with customary rights, commercial fishers, and recreational fishers, must ALL be acknowledged by statute and represented on the appropriate bodies.

MOF must adequately protect our fish stocks by investigating and apprehending poachers - there are too many recreational and Maori fishers involved in what amounts to commercial fishing without a licence. As I have said to you previously, “A poacher is a poacher – whether the guise be customary rights or recreational fishing”.

We have to stamp out the illegal trafficking to mainly Asian destinations before other species disappear from our marine environment.

You will be well aware that New Zealand First is a proponent of the New Zealand ownership and control of our fishing industry.

You will also recall that, in 1996, I made a commitment to begin to fund your advisory services. That was a commitment that was reneged on by the then Minister, Luxton, even though it was supposed to be part of the budget round. It was not honoured after the break up of the coalition.

Today I am promising you that we will consult with your executive and settle on an appropriate level of funding to be included in budget 2003.

After the election, who knows what hat I’ll wear – but I can promise you that your issues are important to me – as a fisherman and as a politician – and to New Zealand First.

And I can promise that New Zealand First will be in a position to contribute to policy development.

To summarise:

New Zealand First will:

• work towards the New Zealandisation of our fishing industry and resources;

• develop a national policy statement on integrated marine fisheries management;

• foster shared management arrangements with recreational, customary, and
commercial fishers whilst maintaining government control of management research
and enforcement;

• review current fisheries consultation processes to ensure that public consultation on
fisheries issues is meaningful and encourages effective communication and
collaborative problem solving;

• implement clear accountability systems and auditing programmes of fisheries
management performance by public and private management;

• amend fisheries legislation to enable public participation when setting catch limits,
environmental controls, and management strategies; and,


• encourage recreational fishers to join in partnership with the Crown to administer
and regulate recreational fishing in the interests of sustainability. All recreational
fishers should help police the system to ensure that there is no room for poachers
and quasi ‘recreational’ fishers who sell or raffle their catches. This system should
be managed regionally, under a national umbrella organisation, such as the
Recreational Fishing Council.

Which of course brings us to “option 4”.

Many of you have taken the opportunity to communicate your concerns.

Thank heavens for the e-mail – we can all be lobbyists and still have time to go fishing!

We in New Zealand First absolutely support the early completion of the ‘rights redefinition’ process, and, as stated earlier, to have those rights included in legislation. All we can say to the lobbyists, as to you all, is use your party vote wisely come 27 July.


ENDS


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