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Fishery Officers Pressured On Treaty Issues

Tuesday 7 December 2003

Fishery Officers Pressured On Treaty Issues

''Because of the Scampi Inquiry, the Government has not employed promised Treaty Relationship Facilitators in various fishery regions,'' said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) who represent Fishery Officers. “This has become more important due to the heightened conflict between Maori and the Government due to the Government’s approach to the property rights issue round the foreshore and seabed.”

“The Ministry of Fisheries was unable to implement its Treaty Strategy due to the Scampi Inquiry. For example, ten Treaty Relationship Facilitators were to be appointed in Regions such as the East Coast where they would have reduced the pressure on Fishery Officers,” said Nadine Marshall. “This did not occur.”

“Fishery Officers are the visible face of the Government to Maori and this foreshore and seabed conflict has only heightened already existing tensions about property rights over fish stocks given quotas under the Quota Management System,” said Nadine Marshall. “Without the Treaty Facilitators in place, Fishery Officers face deeply conflicting roles of ‘educating’ about the Government’s position on customary fishing and ‘enforcing’ compliance with the law.”

“Fishery Officers already have a big enough job with dealing with their extra responsibilities under the 2001 Fisheries Act,” said Nadine Marshall. “Our Union has asked Pete Hodgson for an increase in pay of the order of what the MPs recently received – around 20%. Fishery Officers currently earn between $35,000 and $49,000. These extra pressures and the complexity of their role only enhance the need for the Government to action this increase quickly.”


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