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Govt dithering spreads uncertainty to aquaculture

Phil Heatley MP National Party Fisheries Spokesman

24 July 2003

Govt dithering spreads uncertainty to aquaculture

The Labour Government's dithering over the beaches and seabed issue is condemning the lucrative aquaculture industry to further uncertainty.

"Now the aquaculture industry is doomed to pay a heavy price for Government procrastination," says National Party Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley.

This morning Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson gave a speech where he said there was 'an undeniable risk that the legislation required for the aquaculture reforms might not be introduced in August as planned.' "So now another group of New Zealanders is being forced to wait anxiously on the Government while it carries out secret negotiations on the ownership of our beaches," Mr Heatley says.

"What's worse, is that we're now expecting another layer of legislation will have to be introduced, to allow the moratorium to be extended past a painful two years, while the aquaculture reforms are put together.

"It's pretty clear the Government has opened a can of worms with its back-down on foreshore legislation," says Mr Heatley.

"Those involved in aquaculture want the same thing as every other New Zealander and that's more certainty about how these crucial issues are to be resolved.

"Aquaculture's a gold mine of opportunity for our country, the sooner this Government makes the hard decisions, the sooner that industry can reach its potential," Mr Heatley says.


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