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

 


Customary fish take ‘unknown’

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Fisheries Spokesman

15 November 2006

Customary fish take ‘unknown’

National Party Fisheries spokesman Phil Heatley says Labour is exercising a flagrant double standard in the way it tracks and enforces the fish takes from our coastal waters.

“If a commercial fisherman didn’t report his take he’d be for the high jump. So why is it that some Maori iwi and hapu are being treated differently?”

Mr Heatley is referring to an Ombudsman-enforced Official Information Act request, which shows that since late 2004, only three groups of 16 have fulfilled all their legal obligations to file quarterly catch reports. There are six groups which have returned no paperwork at all.

“The Fisheries Ministry is turning a blind eye, and officials have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Ironically, some of the worst offenders are in Parekura Horomia’s patch.”

Mr Heatley says the situation is so critical that in its Annual Report, the Fisheries Ministry has been unable to accurately predict how many fish will be taken by Maori customary fishers, it says the catch quantity is ‘unknown’.

“If Labour was really serious about managing a sustainable fishing policy, the Minister would be making sure all the important information was being collected. This utter disregard for enforcement makes a mockery of Labour’s 2004 pledge to get tough with non-compliance.”

Mr Heatley also notes that the number of Regulation 27 customary fishing inspections done by fisheries officers is down from 267 in 2004 to just 81 in 2005. And compliance rates have actually fallen from 93% to 84%.

“It’s getting worse, not better, and Labour’s getting slacker, not tougher,” says Mr Heatley.

In answers to questions the Fisheries Minister’s office has told reporters it is taking a partnership approach, rather than an enforcement approach to customary fisheries regulations.

“If that’s not a race-based double standard, I don’t know what is.”

Mr Heatley has also released papers which show the Office of the Ombudsmen was forced to intervene and order the Fisheries Ministry to release documents revealing the “drastically disappointing” results.

“All New Zealanders have an interest in protecting our coastal fishery for future generations. We need action, not more talk from Labour.”

ENDS

Attached: Official Information Act Response, news clippings – 12 pages.
Heatley_Fisheries_OIA.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

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>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news