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Blundering Nats show ignorance of fisheries law

Blundering Nats show ignorance of fisheries law

National's fisheries spokesman is parading his ignorance and prejudice with his claims that customary fishing regulations are not enforced, says Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope.

"National is so desperate to find favouritism in treatment of Maori that it has leapt to totally false conclusions about the enforcement of customary fishing regulations.

"Offences committed under the guise of customary fishing are generally prosecuted as breaches of recreational fishing regulations or the Fisheries Act. That is why statistics on prosecutions supplied to Mr Heatley show hundreds of infringement notices issued to recreational and commercial fishers and few to customary fishers.

"Mr Heatley failed to ask for any explanation of the statistics, preferring instead to make up his own bogus interpretation. I would offer him a briefing on the facts, but going by his performance so far I seriously doubt whether he has any interest in the truth."

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