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Fisheries Amendment Bills Reported Back

Fisheries Minister John Luxton today welcomed the tabling of the Select Committee report back on two Fisheries Amendment Bills.

"The Bills contain important measures to introduce greater flexibility into the management of commercial fisheries. The changes include fisheries plans, delivery of fisheries services, a cost recovery framework, catch balancing and offences and penalties."

Because of the limited number of House sitting days between now and the end of the Parliamentary year, the Fisheries Amendment Bill No 2. has been split to create a third Amendment Bill. The No 3 Bill includes measures to ratify the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement signed by New Zealand in 1995 along with some other technical measures.

As a result of the Select Committee's deliberations, it was clear to the Government that there was insufficient time to give proper consideration to issues surrounding the Fourth Schedule. The No 2 Bill therefore only contains issues that relate to the Fourth Schedule of the Fisheries Act 1996 and the introduction of South Island Eels into the Quota Management System (QMS).

"It was clear from submissions that this issue should not be glossed over, therefore the Select Committee has indicated it will seek a six month extension from the House to further explore the issues involved in the No 2 Bill."

"The Crown remains very committed to the introduction of South Island Eels into the QMS by 1 October 2000, as agreed with Ngai Tahu under the Deed of Settlement."

"I am delighted that the two Bills have been reported back by the Select Committee. The Bills are essential prerequisites for the reform of the fisheries sector, and will now enable the fishing industry to make an even greater contribution to the New Zealand economy while ensuring sustainability."


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