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Minister’s patronising attitude infuriates fishers

Minister’s patronising, arrogant attitude infuriates Maori fishers
Tariana Turia, Maori Party Fisheries spokesperson 16 April 2008

The Maori Party says Jim Anderton’s branding of all Maori commercial fishers as plunderers shows an attitude which Maori find patronising and arrogant.

"Mr Anderton should not forget that the Quota Management System was introduced to stop the plunder of fisheries - and it was only after that that Maori really got involved in commercial fisheries,” said Fisheries spokesperson Tariana Turia.

“Maori fishers come to us repeatedly to complain that lack of consultation is a major impediment to collaborative fisheries management,” she said.

“Mr Anderton says his door is always open to Maori – but Maori wonder whether his heart and mind are also open.

“That frustration is what prompts the angry responses the Minister got from iwi leaders outraged at his comments on Maori plundering of fisheries,” Mrs Turia added.

“Mind you, iwi leaders are equally frustrated at the non-performance of Labour’s Maori MPs on this issue.

"I have been advised that those attending the recent national Maori fisheries summit were disappointed that the Minister of Maori Affairs seemed 'impotent' to influence the Fisheries Minister, even though the irony is that Parekura Horomia is also the Associate Minister of Fisheries.

"Naida Glavish is reported to have described the whole of Labour’s Maori caucus as 'neutered lap-dogs'.”

“The reality is that those MPs and Ministers have better access to Minister Anderton than iwi leaders do – so why don’t they sort things out?

“For goodness’ sake, Shane Jones sits round the Cabinet table with Mr Anderton. Shane was a senior adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet when the Sealord deal was drawn up and signed. He went on to become a Commissioner and then Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana. If anyone can influence the Minister, surely he can.

“We understand the doctrines of collective Cabinet responsibility, which prevent Mr Jones and his colleagues from publicly disagreeing with his colleague – but surely they could be doing more behind the scenes to look after the interests of iwi commercial fishers,” said Mrs Turia.


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