'Flawed' MPI and flawed Minister need to enforce the law over fish dumping

The finding that MPI failed to properly enforce the law even when it had evidence of fish dumping seriously damages the trust and credibility of the Ministry, the industry and this Government, Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says.

The report of the former Solicitor General, Michael Heron, has found that the 2012 decision not to prosecute ships that dumped fish was 'flawed'.

“The inquiry says the process used was confused, poorly documented and communicated. These findings are deeply concerning and raise serious questions about the integrity of Ministry for Primary Industries and the competence of Minister Nathan Guy.

“It is particularly disappointing that MPI's negligence has unfairly tarnished the reputation of fishers who have been legally fishing within the rules.

“It is obvious that the creation of the MPI 'super Ministry' has been a failure for the fishing sector. MPI is underfunded and underperforming, drowning in bureaucracy and lacking true leadership from the Minister.

“It's clear that Nathan Guy's hands-off see-no-evil approach has failed the industry and the people of New Zealand.

“He needs to get off his chuff and make sure MPI follows through on its pledge to implement the recommendations of the Heron review before the fishing industry completely loses what little faith and trust it has left in the Ministry,” says Rino Tirikatene.