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Slave Fishing Boat Exemption To Be Removed

The Govt has decided to remove exemptions allowing “slave” fishing boats to work in New Zealand waters.

Jo Goodhew, on behalf of the responsible minister Nathan Guy, said the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill bill would address concerns about the poor treatment of those working on foreign charter fishing vessels in NZ waters

Those boats, which have been described as slave ships, would be required to be flagged in New Zealand and obey New Zealand laws.

Select committee changes included a number of exemptions, including fishing boats using treaty settlement quota and fishing for migratory species. Goodhew said these exemptions would undermine the law and New Zealand’s reputation and would be harmed.

The bill has been delayed for some time while the Government worked through the issue.

Goodhew said the exemptions inserted by the select committee would be removed. The only exemption which would remain is one for scientific vessels doing research with exemptions handed out by the Ministry of Primary Industries.

The bill completed its second reading on a voice vote.

The House rose at 10pm interrupting the third reading debate on the Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill.

Earlier the second reading of the Vulnerable Children Bill was completed by 105 to 13 with the Greens and Mana opposed.


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