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Fisheries Minister flounders on law

Fisheries Minister flounders on law

The National Party says the Fisheries Minister is clearly floundering with his bid to impose a “fair” quota system on the $100 million a year scampi industry.

“Just a few weeks back Pete Hodgson was threatening to legislate over the top of these fisher-folk, now he’s done a complete flip-flop,” says National’s Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley.

He’s commenting after the Minister’s decision to delay law changes that would have set the scampi allocation model in concrete.

“The snags in this system were dredged up some time ago, now - with two inquiries underway, the Minister’s changed his tune,” says Mr Heatley

“It’s yet another example of the Labour Government pushing ahead with its own agenda in private, but back-tracking once details are released.

“How much faith can the rest of the industry have in this Minister?”

“You can be sure other fishers will be watching this case with interest,” he says.

Mr Heatley’s also calling on Pete Hodgson to order complete co-operation of Ministry staff as the Primary Production Select Committee begins its inquiry.

“On November 6 in Parliament, the Minister said he saw no reason why all relevant catch and landing information shouldn’t be released - I hope this position does not change.

“I’m also calling on anyone with any information connected to the allegations to come forward.

“There’ve been so many rumours and so much innuendo surrounding this issue, now it’s time for us to see the hard evidence,“ Mr Heatley says.

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