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


Make Maori fishing fines work

Make Maori fishing fines work

ACT Fisheries spokesman Gerry Eckhoff and Justice and Sports spokesman Stephen Franks today urged that iwi and hapu be held responsible for abuses of customary fishing privileges.

“The recently announced new penalties will otherwise be meaningless in many cases. The announcement looks like an election smokescreen,” Mr Eckhoff said.

“Offenders’ fines are pathetic in comparison to the damage they’ve caused. Then they are not enforced because of cries of poverty. Community work sentences are a joke. The value of fish makes dodgy permits all too tempting. So seed-stock is stripped that should remain for the benefit of everyone. Slogans about guardianship yield to self-interest.

“Maori highlight the collective or communal nature of their fisheries interests. Their bag limit exceptions flow from that group membership. They’re getting a collective right, so the sanctions and costs of abuse should be collective as well.

“Bringing the cost home to the ‘owner’ and controller of the privilege also makes enforcement sense. Iwi and hapu would have incentives to deliver their own justice to those who cause them loss. Only this would justify continued self-regulation of the privilege,” Mr Eckhoff said.

Mr Franks pointed out that it is consistent with the accountability demanded of pakeha collectives.

“Companies are fined when their directors and employees break the law. When a company truck is overloaded, or someone lets a pollutant escape from company land, the company is liable, not just the company agent or representative.

“Iwi and hapu should have the same defences as companies. If they satisfy the court that the offender was not authorised by them, they shouldn’t be penalised, unless they knew or ought to have known what was going on in their name. A convicted individual should lose eligibility to issue future permits on behalf of anyone.

“Effective penalties on iwi and hapu could include cancellation of the right to issue customary take permits or collecting unpaid fines by forfeiting quota allocated to the iwi by the Maori Fisheries Commission. This would be a fair equivalent to the forfeiture of boats and gear that other fisheries offenders suffer,” Mr Franks said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news