MinFish too busy to fight lawbreakers
MinFish too busy fighting fires to fight lawbreakers
National Fisheries Spokesman
24 May 2004
The Ministry is busy fighting fires, instead of using its legal team to prosecute law-breakers, says National's Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley.
Figures released today by Mr Heatley show not only that the Ministry of Fisheries legal bills are skyrocketing, but also that they are increasingly focused on defending themselves in court rather than prosecuting poachers.
"The amount of money the Ministry has spent on legal bills has quadrupled in the last three years.
"This year they have already spent over $1.5 million on legal costs.
"But, shockingly, $1.3 million of that has been spent defending themselves against prosecution.
"How can the Ministry focus on improving operation matters if they are always in court?
"Ministry of Fisheries is rampant with problems and they have a budget that's stretched enough as it is," says Mr Heatley.