Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister slams National's ignorance

13 January, 2005

Minister slams National's ignorance of fisheries enforcement issues

A 40% increase in the number of Fisheries compliance staff since Labour became Government, with future growth already signalled, shows the Government's commitment to protecting our fisheries.

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope slammed as ill-informed scaremongering claims by the National Party that beaches were being closed for the gathering of shell-fish because of staffing issues.

Mr Benson-Pope says the number of compliance staff has increased by 40% from 113 in 1999 to 159 in 2004. Recently the Ministry of Fisheries signalled that the compliance unit would grow a further 15% in the coming year alone.

The Ministry also announced the establishment of three highly mobile investigation teams to be based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Since July 1999, the Ministry of Fisheries has opened six new regional offices in Whitianga, Opotiki, Hamilton, Masterton, Petone and Blenheim.

"We are committed to protecting our marine environment," says Mr Benson-Pope. "Unlike National we don't just talk the talk. We have invested in more staff, more offices, more equipment and we are getting results."

Mr Benson-Pope pointed out fisheries enforcement, a core activity, received a 15% ($3million) increase from last year bringing it to $24million annually. Over an extra $1million has been allocated to build capacity in the Serious Offences Unit.

Mr Benson-Pope says it appears that some are opportunistically trying to link sustainability measures taken at beaches with enforcement capacity issues. He says only 12 specific coastal locations have been closed, or partially closed, to the gathering of shell fish, which for a coastline as large as New Zealand's was quite remarkable in terms of sustainable management.

"The closure of a small number of beaches for the taking of shell fish or other aquatic life has little to do with fisheries compliance," said the Minister. "Closures have followed requests from local communities concerned that despite the public only taking the lawful limit, the beach has not been able to sustain this take.

"This is sensible management of our fisheries resource. The lowering of national daily bag limits for different shell fish species would unfairly impact on all New Zealanders and a local response is the correct one where the sustainability issue is a local one."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news