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PQ9. Fisheries—Policy

9. Fisheries—Policy
[Sitting date: 23 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:11. Text is subject to correction.]
9. RICHARD PROSSER (NZ First) to the Minister for Primary Industries : Is he satisfied with all aspects of fisheries policy, including progress relating to the ongoing use of Foreign Charter Vessels?
Hon NATHAN GUY (Minister for Primary Industries): Yes . The member will be aware that the foreign charter vessels bill is currently awaiting the Committee of the whole House stage. This is another key piece of work that will protect our international reputation and trade access and will maximise the economic return to New Zealand from our fisheries resources. Through this piece of legislation the Government is sending a clear message that New Zealand is serious about the fair treatment of fishing crews, the safety of vessels, and its international reputation for ethical and sustainable fishing practices. With only a few days left of House time this bill is highly unlikely to pass under this Parliament, but I am very confident that the bill will proceed under the new Parliament, given its broad support.
Richard Prosser : Given that answer, will he also adopt New Zealand First’s policy of excluding all trawlers from the inshore fishery inside the 12-mile limit, in order to assist in the regeneration of fish stocks and to ensure that recreational fishers have access to satisfactory catches?
Hon NATHAN GUY : I have not studied New Zealand First policy, but what I will say is that it sounds better than Labour’s policy, which is to bring in a recreational fishing licence for all recreational fishers.
Richard Prosser : Can he give the House a commitment that he will adopt New Zealand First’s policy—
Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That misrepresentation of Labour Party policy by the Minister was out of order and—
Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order! The member has been here a long time. He knows the rules. If he feels that there has been a misrepresentation, a false statement, then he knows to use Standing Order 355.
Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I thought that was the reason we had a Standing Order that said it was out of order for a Minister to represent what other parties’ policies were—because they have no responsibility for them.
Mr SPEAKER : I accept the point the member is making, which is that it was not helpful for the Minister to comment on Labour Party policy. The difficulty we have had—[Interruption] Order! The difficulty was that when the question was raised, it was raised by a New Zealand First member of Parliament, asking for particular comment on New Zealand First policy. The Minister—unhelpfully to the House, I accept—then commented on that and equally on another party’s policy.
Hon Gerry Brownlee : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Rather than going through a pile of points of order this afternoon over whether or not the Minister should have said it, it would be very easy for the Labour Opposition to seek the opportunity to make a personal statement clearing up its intention to introduce recreational fishing licences.
Mr SPEAKER : That is for a member—if a member is offended by it and wants to take that course of action, we will consider it.
Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr SPEAKER : Can I just clarify, before I deal with this matter, whether it is a completely fresh point of order. I have dealt with the other matter. [Interruption] Order! If the member wants clarification, I invite him to come and see me afterwards. If the member wants to raise a fresh point of order, I will hear about it, but I am not having matters relitigated on the floor of this House.
Hon David Parker : I cannot understand how a question from New Zealand First that results in misrepresentation of Labour Party policy can be an answer that is within the Standing Orders. I seek clarification as to whether you were making—
Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member will resume his seat immediately. I have advised the member, if he feels there has been a case of misrepresentation, to refer to the Standing Orders and to use Standing Order 355.
Hon Dr Nick Smith : I seek leave of the House to table a record of the meeting at which the Labour candidate for Marlborough said that they would introduce a fishing licence.
Mr SPEAKER : Can I just clarify whether it is a media article.
Hon Dr Nick Smith : No, it is a statement from a member of the public who was at the meeting. [Interruption]
Mr SPEAKER : Order! This is easily resolved. It is for the House to make a decision.
Hon David Parker : Does the document exist?
Mr SPEAKER : The document clearly exists, because the member is seeking to table it. [Interruption] Order! The member will resume his seat. When I am on my feet—[Interruption] Order! You are very close to being asked to leave the Chamber, Mr Parker. When I am on my feet, all members will be quiet. There is clearly a document because the Hon Dr Smith has said he wishes to table it. It is a very serious offence in this House if he seeks to table a document that does not exist. I will therefore put the leave and the House will decide whether it wants to accept that document. Leave is sought to table this particular statement. Is there any objection?
Hon David Cunliffe : Is it a media article?
Mr SPEAKER : We have clarified for the sake of the—[Interruption] Order! For the benefit of the Hon David Cunliffe, I have already clarified from the Hon Dr Nick Smith that it is not a media article; it is a statement that was written by an attendee at the meeting. [Interruption] Order! I say to the Hon David Parker. Leave is now sought to table that document. It is in the hands of the House. If any member objects, it will not be tabled. I put the leave. Is there any objection? There is.
Hon Trevor Mallard : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would like to draw to your attention Standing Orders 354 and 355, which go to personal explanations and misrepresentations of members. I think we were invited to take a point of order under one of those if we felt we had been misrepresented. My submission to you is that neither of those can be used where someone is trying to correct a matter to do with a party’s policy, as opposed to a member’s personal situation or a comment that a member made.
Hon Gerry Brownlee : Point of order.
Mr SPEAKER : No, I do not need assistance from the member. I am going to offer the member a further avenue for correcting this matter. In the not too distant future, when we finish question time, there will be a general debate. That will be an opportunity if the members want to do so.
Hon Gerry Brownlee : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It may be helpful for you to offer Opposition members the opportunity to use some of their General Debate time to clear this matter up—and I am sure they will want to—but the premise that is put by Mr Mallard is wrong. A member over the other side can easily say “I do not support our Marlborough candidate with his recreational”—
Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order! I do not think that point of order is going to help the order of the House. I have resolved the matter.
Hon David Cunliffe : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is a separate matter. I seek leave to table a document from the Parliamentary Library that shows that the increase in percentage terms of gross sovereign debt during World War II was less than the proportionate increase in gross sovereign debt under the current National Government.
Mr SPEAKER : I will put the leave. The document has been prepared for the member by the Parliamentary Library. Leave is sought to table that particular document. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.
• Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.
Richard Prosser : Can he give the House a commitment that he will adopt a policy of setting consistent minimum size catch limits for both recreational and commercial fishers; if not, why not?
Hon NATHAN GUY : The member will be aware that there are already provisions that have been made under Snapper 1, where we are really focused on ensuring that we have more reporting coming through. We have got cameras under trial, we have got vessel monitoring systems coming in in October this year, there are move-on rules, and there are observers currently operating on foreign charter vessels.
Richard Prosser : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That was a very good answer, but, in fairness, the question was actually whether he would make a commitment to consistent sizes, and that was not addressed.
Mr SPEAKER : I will invite the member—I suspect it probably was answered, to be honest, but I will give the member the benefit of the doubt and I will invite him to ask the question again.
Richard Prosser : Can he give the House a commitment that he will adopt a policy of setting consistent minimum size catch limits for both recreational and commercial fishers; if not, why not?
Hon NATHAN GUY : We already have that in place. We have a world-leading quota management system. We have sustainability fishing rounds, where we work through those fishing stocks. It is also important to note that our quota management system is one of the best in the world.
Hon Gerry Brownlee : Is he able to give the House any idea of how many people in New Zealand might be impeded in their desire to go and catch a fish if they had to have a recreational licence for salt-water fishing, as proposed by the Labour Party?
Grant Robertson : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That question is well outside of the Standing Orders because it includes matters for which the Minister is not responsible, and Mr Brownlee is also making it up, as well.
Mr SPEAKER : I am not going to allow the question as asked, but I am going to invite the member to re-ask the question without the last bit. If he wants to know how many recreational fishers might be affected by such a policy, that is acceptable, but do not attribute it to any political party in this House.
Hon Gerry Brownlee : If a recreational fishing licence was required for salt-water fishing, is he able to estimate how many New Zealanders may be denied the opportunity to catch fish on the seashore or on their boat on the ocean?
Hon NATHAN GUY : My understanding is hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders really enjoy recreational fishing. I cannot believe that anyone would be proposing bringing in a recreational licence scheme. That would go down like a cup of sick with all of our Kiwi mum and dad fishers who really enjoy taking their children out and catching fish.
Richard Prosser : Why has the Government not taken effective action over the past 6 years to end the dumping of fish at sea by commercial fishers?
Hon NATHAN GUY : Well, if the member followed the progress that we are making with the Primary Growth Partnership, he would be aware of the fact that there is a fantastic, innovative net design that is currently being trialled. It allows for fish to be caught alive, for fish to come on board the vessel alive, and for potentially new export markets to open up where fish are transported alive into high-value premium markets. This is a very exciting, innovative idea, backed by the industry, backed by the Government, and even supported by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe—
Mr SPEAKER : Order!
Richard Prosser : Will he commit to securing the best possible economic return to New Zealand from our fisheries resource by adopting a policy of requiring all fish caught by commercial fishers in New Zealand waters to be landed in New Zealand and processed in New Zealand; if not, why not?
Hon NATHAN GUY : The member will be aware, I am sure, that fish caught in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone have to be landed in New Zealand. The majority of fresh fish bought by Kiwi mums and dads is indeed processed in New Zealand. I have just outlined initiatives where we are going to continue to add value to our fish, with the Primary Growth Partnership. It is also worth mentioning to the member that we have three fishing stocks that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, which is fantastic, and the industry is working on getting more of those certified. This is a gold-plated system where we get endorsements about high quality and high value from a sustainable fishing source.

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