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Ministry Of Fisheries Misinforms On Strike Impact

Ministry Of Fisheries Misinforms On Strike Impact

“The Ministry of Fisheries is misinforming New Zealanders about the impact of the strike on Friday,” Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) said today. He was commenting on Ministry Compliance Manager Dave Wood’s statement that the Ministry had “contingency plans” for dealing with protecting the country’s fisheries from poachers on Friday.

“According to Mr Wood, three are 150 warranted fisheries officers in New Zealand and NUPE only represents 50,” said Martin Cooney. “In fact there are only 100 front line Fishery Officers, comprising 89 blue shirt Surveillance Officers and 11 Investigators. NUPE has 65 of these Officers. Those that belong to the PSA are supporting their NUPE colleagues anyway.”

“In the regions from Tauranga down both coasts of the North Island the offices are virtually all staffed by NUPE members. In Gisborne the most isolated and dangerous area, the five officers are all NUPE, including the Team Leader,” said Martin Cooney. “In the South Island, except for Dunedin, the Offices are virtually all NUPE members. The Invercargill office whose area runs right round Fiordland to Jackson’s Bay will have no front line staff on duty. The same will apply to about 75% of New Zealand’s coast line on Friday.”

“Mr Wood includes in his list of Officers another 36 staff from the Deputy Chief Executive down who are either Wellington based managers, local management staff (10), fisheries analysts (10), training officers (3) or others such as forensic and investigative accountants(13),” said Martin Cooney. “Most of these are desk based staff who will be simply unable to police poachers on Friday.”

“The Ministry’s only real contingency plan is praying for rain on Friday.”

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