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Minister Of Fisheries ‘Careless With Truth’

Thursday 30 September 2004

Minister Of Fisheries ‘Careless With Truth’

“Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope received a letter on 30 August 2004 from Warwick Tuck the CEO of the Ministry of Fisheries stating that ‘the effect of this [proposal for change] will be some reduction in staff numbers in district locations’,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. The letter was obtained under the Official Information Act.

He was commenting on the statement from Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope yesterday that ‘There will not be one single less frontline fisheries officer as a result of current restructuring discussions’. “The Minister needs to explain the discrepancy between what he said yesterday and what is in the letter when there are significant cuts (round 40%) to frontline offices in Whangarei, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill among others,” said Martin Cooney.

“Warwick Tuck’s letter shows that the Ministry even prepared a communications and media strategy (spin) to deal with the reaction from Fishery Officers and wider groups to the proposal,” said Martin Cooney.

“Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope is also wrong in his comments about the NUPE stopwork meeting tomorrow. This meeting was originally scheduled to report on our Collective Agreement negotiations and not for the Review. Staff are in fact using one of their paid stopwork meetings under the ERA for this meeting and it is not for consultation under the Review.”

ENDS

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