The Government must widen its inquiry into the Ministry for Primary Industries to include its awarding of a company owned by Sanford and Moana Pacific Fisheries to monitor commercial fishing vessels, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says.
The Ministry for Primary Industries announced earlier this month it would appoint a lawyer to conduct an inquiry into claims it didn't prosecute skippers for dumping fish despite having video footage.
The Minister of Māori Development is out of his depth if he thinks Māori rights currently being ripped away by the Government’s arrogance over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary will be settled by a select committee, says Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Te Ururoa Flavell is telling Māori media that the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary is good for everyone and Māori concerns can be addressed at select committee.
The Customs Minister is in La La land if she thinks seven Customs officers can monitor all drug traffickers at the border when they have to assess 2,000 passengers an hour at Auckland International Airport, says Labour’s Customs spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Nicky Wagner needs to set her sights higher if she believes that stopping one in 10 attempts to smuggle drugs into New Zealand is a success.
“The cost of this failure is more 'P' on the street and increased havoc in our communities.
The Government must reinforce front line fisheries officers to manage New Zealand’s fishing stocks more closely following a controversial new report which claims the country’s catch has been underestimated for years, says Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“The British Columbia University global report has been disputed by the fishing sector but it has highlighted the small number of fisheries managers in our biggest catch area, the South Island.
"The front line of fisheries management is increasingly stretched with significant under resourcing. In 2004, there were 140 full-time fishery officers, and despite increasing fishing activity since then, there are now only 101. Bulking up our fishing officers is essential and having more active engagement with the fishing sector will also increase compliance.
The underfunding of Customs is putting the security of New Zealand’s borders at risk, says Labour’s Customs spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Reports that Customs only stop 10% of illicit drug imports and are not investigating Class B drugs or imports under 5 kilograms are deeply concerning. This is a sure sign of a department that is unable to do its job adequately and appropriately.
The loss of 60 fish processing jobs in Nelson is yet another troubling sign that regional New Zealand is being neglected by the National Government says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene.
“The regions are hurting under National. Another 60 people will join the other 5,300 jobless in the region and the 151,000 currently unemployed nationwide.
“The reality is that many will have to leave the Nelson area to find work. That's not right. The Government should be working to revitalise the regions rather than leaving them to be hollowed out by joblessness and neglect.
The fishing parks promised by National at the last election appear to be sinking without trace, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Fifteen months ago the Prime Minister and Nick Smith pledged to create recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds. But repeated delays in the publication of a discussion document, let alone the creation of the parks, suggests all is not well behind the scenes.
Treasury says the cost blowout of the troubled Joint Border Management System is now closing in on $50 million and could rise to as much as $132 million over the life of the project, says Labour's Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Just last week Customs told MPs at Select Committee the current cost of the project is $104 million, around $30 million more than the $75 million originally earmarked.
“But of even greater concern, Treasury says that the 'whole of life' costs of the project could jump to over $207 million.