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Ban Lifted – Call To Keep Gisborne Station Open

Ban Lifted – Call To Keep Gisborne Station Open

“NUPE has informed Fishery Officers that the ban on enforcement work relating to Potaka Marae has been lifted but has called for the Minister of Fisheries to confirm publicly that the Fisheries Office in Gisborne will be kept open,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. “More, not less, Fishery enforcement resources need to be placed in the East Coast region.”

“The Union is concerned that for the third time in just over six months the station at Gisborne has been threatened with closure,” said Martin Cooney. “The regional manager of the Fisheries Ministry is threatening to close the station seemingly in response to staff raising concerns about their Health and Safety and the Union raising the threat level to Extreme Risk.”

“Were this closure to occur it would simply confirm the whole area as a no go zone,” said Martin Cooney. “The Ministry of Fisheries failed to provide Treaty Relationship Facilitators to the region as planned last year. If they were to withdraw the five front line staff in Gisborne, it would merely indicate they had given up rather than dealing with the issues. The Ministry should be increasing the staff in the area and giving them the equipment they need to do their job.”

Martin Cooney said that the Union’s Executive had received a report that the Potaka Marae elders had brought under control the people making threats and outrageous media statements on the Marae’s behalf. The Ministry had also given an assurance it was pushing hard to get defensive capability for Officers. In that light the Union had lifted the ban on Potaka Marae.

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