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Crab Fishermen Shafted By Greedy Government

Media Release

21 October 2002

Crab Fishermen Shafted By Greedy Government

New Zealand First Leader and Tauranga MP Rt Hon Winston Peters has called on the Government to act fairly towards crab fishermen who have lost their livelihood through the Ministry of Fisheries cancelling their permits.

Earlier this month the Government decided to cancel the permits and issue quota to itself which it will auction for millions of dollars.

Mr Peters said this move seriously hurts crab fishermen like Ken Mikaere of Tauranga who carefully built up a business over many years at substantial cost.

“This is a mean-spirited penny pinching Treasury idea and the question must be asked why the Government is going along with it.

“To suggest that it is because Maori are to receive 20 percent of new quota to settle Treaty claims is ridiculous because Maori are being hurt by the decision.”

Mr Peters said that no enterprise could survive in a situation where the Government could literally “steal” the trade built up by businesses over many years.

“There are other species caught under permit now that will also go out to auction and that is why a small section of the industry, crab fishing, is being so heavily penalised.

“The big picture is that these future auctions will gross tens of millions for a greedy Treasury that advocated the first sale of state assets – fishing – back in 1986.

“This was done under a Labour government, which got it wrong then and is getting it wrong now, “said Mr Peters.


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