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Merger Cuts To Support In MAF Concern Fishery Officers

Merger Cuts To Support In MAF Concern Fishery Officers

“While Fishery Officer numbers are to remain the same under changes announced this week by the management of newly merged Ministries of Fisheries, Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), significant changes proposed to backroom systems have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of Fisheries enforcement within New Zealand,” said Martin Cooney, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. He was commenting on the announcement earlier this week that 241 MAF positions would go throughout New Zealand. (Because some positions were unfilled, about 140 people will lose their job.)

Mr Cooney said the significant changes proposed to “backroom” systems that actually support or underpin Fishery Officer work such as Computer IT, information supply and support, and training could increase risk for front line officers.

“Fishery Officers face significant risk in their job and the hazards have been minimised over time by the use of this enhanced support,” said Martin Cooney.

“The merging of the organisations could also see Fishery Officers being displaced from their core function into a wider primary industry compliance role. This broadening of role in turn could place a greater burden on the Honorary Fishery network who are a volunteer group performaing and important and unpaid role.” said Martin Cooney.

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