Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Amateur Fishers File High Court Proceedings

12 August 2005

Amateur Fishers File High Court Proceedings In The Kahawai Legal Challenge

The New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council Inc and the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council Inc have lodged judicial review proceedings in the Auckland High Court which challenge the Minister of Fisheries decision-making over the management and allocation of kahawai under the quota management system.

The two Fishing Councils represent the many hundreds of thousands of amateur and recreational fishers from around the country. The case is backed by fisheries advocacy group "option4".

The proceedings are expected to be a test case, and will be the first legal proceedings brought by amateur and recreational fishing interests under New Zealand's fisheries legislation. The Fishing Councils are taking the case to protect the fishing rights of the non-commercial fishing sector. The key objectives of the Court proceedings are to:

Ensure that "more fish are left in the sea", so there is a return to better fish catch rates; and

clarify the Minister of Fisheries' decision-making powers for amateur and recreational fish species.

New Zealand adopted a property-rights based approach to commercial fisheries in 1986. Amateur and recreational fishing was left out of this property-rights framework. Many key fisheries were fished down to low levels before they were included in the quota management system.

When combined with Ministry of Fisheries policy which favours allocation of fishing rights based on recent catch levels, the Fishing Councils, and their technical and scientific advisors believe this over-fishing has led to fisheries management decisions that are unfavourable and prejudicial to the interests of non-commercial fishers.

Mr Jeff Romeril, president of the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, says "Fishing is a nationally treasured pastime. It is part of what sets the quality of life in New Zealand apart from other countries.

Yet, for over two decades, our members have been reporting a serious decline in many key fish stocks. Our club members have reported a huge decline in the availability of kahawai from the late 1980's. Recent boat ramp surveys from the Ministry of Fisheries show a continuing decline in recreational catch rates for areas in Northland and the Hauraki Gulf. The decline in the number and size of kahawai schools has important flow-on effects to other fisheries," said Mr Romeril.

The Fishing Councils attribute the current low numbers of kahawai schools to past over-fishing by commercial purse seine fishers before the entry of kahawai to the quota management system.

Mr Keith Ingram, the president of the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council says that amateur and recreational fishing interests have in the past simply had to accept that the amount of fish left available for their use is "the leftovers" after commercial needs are met. "However, this is a fundamentally flawed situation, which has led to this test case." Mr Ingram said "there is a strong public interest factor in the Fishing Councils bringing the case over kahawai.

It is not about our own interests. This is a case for and on behalf of the fishing public of New Zealand." He said "it is estimated that 1 in 3 New Zealanders fish either recreationally or for food". Most amateur fishing in New Zealand is "as much about putting fresh seafood on the family table as it is about recreation."

Keith Ingram said there was recognition by the Minister of Fisheries that there was a problem as the Minister had recently announced a new policy to manage fish stocks above sustainable levels. However this policy is not yet firmly established, and at present, existing case law leaves unanswered questions about how the Minister of Fisheries is required to make decisions affecting amateur and recreational fisheries, especially where there is not enough known about sustainable stock levels.

The Fishing Councils have decided to bring the proceedings as a test case to clarify the legal situation, and in the hope that the proceedings will result in future decision-making which will improve the quality of fishing for the public of New Zealand.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election