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Back Down On Iwi Fishing Exemption A Win For ACT

Back Down On Iwi Fishing Exemption A Win For ACT

Press Release by ACT Leader John Banks
Thursday, August 1 2012

ACT Leader John Banks today welcomed news that National will pull the race-based exemption from the foreign charter vessel legislation which would have given a privileged few iwi a competitive advantage over others in the industry.
“ACT is opposed to race-based legislation,” Mr Banks said.

“I believe New Zealanders want race relations to move forward in this country.  National’s proposition was a step back.

“I made it clear that ACT would not support the Bill if the clause allowing the exemption was to stand.   I am pleased that Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has listened to ACT and has agreed to remove the exemption from the Bill.

“However, forcing all vessels to re-flag is going to have a detrimental impact on the fishing industry in New Zealand.  Many small fishing operators will be forced to close.

“No one wants to see another human being forced to work in slave-labour type conditions.   But New Zealand can prevent this by enforcing the laws we already have.  This was not done adequately in the past. 

“If we were to enforce the laws we already have, working conditions would be improved without the loss of jobs and business closures.   ACT believes reflagging is unnecessary.

“But as National is refusing to drop reflagging, ACT will continue talks with them over the creation of a general exemption which would be available to all vessels and not just specific iwi,” Mr Banks said.

ENDS

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