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chips sum total of Brownlee's fisheries knowledge

Fish and chips sum total of Brownlee's fisheries knowledge

The National Party's Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee should stick to eating fish and chips because his knowledge of important fisheries issues is otherwise nil, says Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope said Mr Brownlee was trying to piggyback his obsession with divisive race issues with an entirely unrelated matter involving members of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

"The risks of working in the East Coast area are similar to those faced by fisheries officers around New Zealand and the Ministry of Fisheries has sound policies in place to mitigate risks to Fisheries Officers' safety.

"When it comes to fisheries enforcement Mr Brownlee's claim of separatism is a nonsense. I am advised that Ministry of Fisheries compliance officers are active on the East Coast, and will continue to be so.

"Mr Brownlee should go back to his fish and chips – where obviously he's had more success at making a meal of things."

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