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Fishery Officers Accused Of “Treason” By Marae

Fishery Officers Accused Of “Treason” By Marae

“Fishery Officers have received faxes today stating that if they take action over suspected illegal activities at Potaka Marae they will be guilty of ‘treason’ and will be arrested by the ‘Aotearoa Native Police’,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. Attached are two of five faxes circulated today.

“The Ministry of Fisheries claims the union has been irresponsible in publicising the risk to Fishery Officers and that there is no evidence of illegal activity worth investigating on the Marae,” said Martin Cooney. “If the Ministry is correct, it is difficult to see why the Marae continues to issue statements such as these.”

“The issue for our Union is a simple health and safety one. By delaying implementing the commitment the Ministry of Fisheries made concerning the safety of Fishery Officers for sixteen months, the Ministry has neglectied its responsibility to its staff.”

“The instruction by the Union to avoid Potaka Marae has been extended until the 19th March, when our delegates are to meet with the Ministry in Wellington,” said Martin Cooney. “Despite the assurances of the Minister of Fisheries today that there is no problem, faxes like these can only serve to heighten the tension in an already difficult situation over the foreshore and seabed debate.”

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