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National – Ask those in the aquaculture industry!

27 July 2006

National – Ask those in the aquaculture industry!

Ministry of Fisheries, Jim Anderton said Phil Heatley's views on the new era for the aquaculture industry reveals more of the National Party's vision of the Road to Nowhere. Jim Anderton challenged National's Fisheries spokesman to ask the leaders of the industry at the Aquaculture Conference today which version of the truth they supported.

"In my press release today I said that just last week I was in Chile, where I visited a salmon processing facility and was given an overview of the Chilean salmon industry. As many of you will know, in less than two decades they have built an industry from nothing to one that earns around three billion New Zealand dollars a year, twice as much as our entire seafood industry," Jim Anderton said.

"Like us they had teething problems in the initial stages of growing their industry but have invested heavily in ensuring the sustainability of their operations. Today Chile has a high tech, high value salmon industry, and their number one export market is Japan. New Zealand is even closer to Japan than Chile and we have many other emerging Asian markets on our doorstep.

"If Chile can do it, why can't New Zealand? New Zealand has the potential to grow our aquaculture industry to a similar extent at the very least. It is up to us all to find the path, which will achieve that objective. One such path will clearly be accessing the experience and best practice of the most successful international development models.

"National should know the leaders of this potentially huge industry with a sales target of $1B are looking to go forward and to do this they want to work with a government that has the political will and a pathway to make things happen. I challenge Phil Heatley and the National Party leadership to meet with the people at the 2006 Aquaculture conference and ask them what version of the truth they support – his or mine," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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