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Chinese labour fishy deal for seafood industry

29 May 2008

Cheap Chinese labour is fishy deal for local seafood industry

It's crazy to catch fish in New Zealand, then ship it to China for processing, before bringing the finished product back to New Zealand for sale, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"News that Talleys Group Ltd ships gutted fish to China for thawing, processing and re-chilling, only to ship it back to New Zealand for sale undermines both the Prime Minister's goal of carbon neutrality and Kiwi workers' jobs," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"The extra energy cost of the refrigeration and transport fly in the face of our climate change commitment.

"With Talley's proposed new processing plant on the West Coast now uncertain, how many New Zealand jobs are on the line?

"The preferential trade agreement with China - where wages are lower and workers don't have the same rights to organise that we have here in New Zealand - will surely only lead to more such bizarre situations.

"If shipping fish from New Zealand to China for processing, then shipping it back to our supermarkets for retail is an example of the Government's global trade agenda in action, then surely it's time to admit that the resulting carbon fin-print of those fish, the race to the bottom on wages and the threat to jobs here in New Zealand makes this a disaster not just for New Zealand but for the climate of our planet."


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