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Government a step closer to banning whitebaiting

Sarah Dowie - Conservation

16 October 2019

The Government has voted down changes that would have protected whitebaiting from being outlawed, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.

“National proposed a series of practical amendments that would have improved the Government’s Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill.”

· Remove whitebait from the ban on fishing on conservation estate rivers and provide for the whitebait fishery to be sustainably managed.

· Create a consultation and right of appeal process for impacted landowners when a spawning area is declared on their property.

· Establish a science and evidence-based approach to be followed in regulating or prohibiting the take or management of specified freshwater fish.

“National asked for New Zealand First’s support on these three Supplementary Order Papers, but they toed the Government’s line and gave in to the Green Party’s decision to vote against our changes.

“Whitebaiting is a treasured pastime for many New Zealanders, it puts food on the table and also creates livelihoods.

“With the status of the fishery difficult to ascertain, a blanket ban is not good policy. That’s why National supports the whitebaiting community and will continue to push for an evidence-based approach to conservation.

“National presented the Government with a chance to do the right thing by this country’s whitebaiters, but it failed to seize the opportunity.”

ends

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