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Contribution to Fijian fishing summit questioned

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Fisheries Spokesman

24 May 2006

NZ contribution to Fijian fishing summit questioned

National Party Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley is dubious about the claims made by Labour that ‘New Zealand played a significant role in focussing the future work of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency at its annual meeting in Nadi, Fiji’.

“That was the bold comment in Luamanuvao Winnie Laban’s media statement this week, but on closer inspection the claims don’t appear to hold weight.”

According to the statement ‘New Zealand’s proposals included streamlining the agenda of future meetings, empowering the FFA Secretariat to deal with routine administrative issues, thereby creating time for Ministers to discuss and make critical policy decisions. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban also put forward the idea of a reporting template that will allow members to exchange information on fisheries management and development challenges, and on progress in implementing conservation and management measures’.

“I struggle to agree with Labour’s view that a proposal to streamline the meeting agenda and allow bureaucrats to deal with administration was a ‘significant role’.

“It now appears that Labour is taking its love affair with the bureaucracy to the next level. If that’s all New Zealand could contribute, perhaps it’s time to send someone who knows about the issues facing the fisheries industry,” says Mr Heatley.


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