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Mfish “Please Rain On Friday” Plea Irresponsible

Saturday 23 October 2004

Mfish “Please Rain On Friday” Plea Irresponsible

“The Ministry of Fisheries response to the announcement of a strike for one day on Friday 29 October is seen as insulting and irresponsible by Fishery Officers,” Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) said today.

He was commenting on statements from Dave Wood that he was ‘somewhat confused’ about why Fishery Officers had voted to strike and that the ‘Ministry of Fisheries is praying for bad weather next Friday to deter poachers from a day-long pillaging of the country's fishing stocks.’

“The comment about praying for bad weather to deter poachers from plundering fish stocks on Friday shows how out of touch the management has become from the front line,” said Martin Cooney. “There are more highly organised paua poaching gangs in New Zealand alone now than there are frontline fishery officers (about 90).”

“The cause of the strike has been made clear in conversations with Dave Wood this week - it relates to the employer’s refusal to implement a revaluation of fishery officers’ pay since February 2003 and the Proposal to cut out about 40% of front line staff outside three hubs in Auckland Wellington and Nelson.”

“Fishery Officers want their Managers to take their concerns seriously and end the flippant comments about Huey sending it down and saving our fish stocks,” said Martin Cooney.

“They note the difference in speed and resourcing applied when the reputation of these managers was under threat with the 2003 Scampi Inquiry. More than $5m was quickly found for defending those reputations.”


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