Fishing parks floundering under Nick Smith

National's promise to create recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds appears to be going nowhere says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. 

“It was one year ago today that the Prime Minister and Nick Smith pledged to create these parks, yet nothing of substance has happened since.

“While the parks seemed like a good election campaign gimmick at the time, National failed to do the basic background work of talking to the affected local industries and communities beforehand. Just as with the Auckland housing scheme debacle, Nick Smith didn't do his homework and is once again presiding over yet another botch up. 

“After the government failed to release a discussion paper as promised in November last year, a veil of secrecy has fallen over the project, with MPI not communicating with the seafood industry and blanket Official Information Act refusals over anything to do with the project. 

“It’s likely that large sums of compensation money will have to be paid to commercial fishing operators to create the parks. There are also rumours that the proposed parks will cut across National's plans for further oil and gas exploration. 

“There is a sense of deja vu with these fishing parks. National made similar promises in 2008 which came to nothing, and here we are again seven years later, in the same situation. 

“If Nick Smith and the government had actually bothered to do their homework they might not have been caught out over-promising in the election campaign and under-delivering in government yet again,” says Rino Tirikatene.