New Zealand Labour Party

Half-baked fisheries proposals a political butt-covering exercise

The Government’s proposed fisheries reforms are underwhelming and disappointing, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.

“New Zealand's fisheries management needs to be modernised in a bold and strategic way with a focus on long-term sustainability. Instead the Minister has given us proposals that are reactive, inward-looking and self-serving. It is yet another round of political butt-covering to protect the Minister and his officials. 

“We should have been delivered a long-term plan to protect our fisheries resources so they can continue to be used and valued by all New Zealanders into the future. But the Minister seems to have no trust in New Zealanders who fish, whether for recreational, customary or commercial purposes.

“The Government clearly does not want fishers to take responsibility for their own activities. Instead MPI wants to carry on the way they’ve always done, regardless of whether it works or not with more top-down regulation from Wellington.

“These proposals do little to address the underlying causes of fish dumping which include poorly set TACs and redundant regulation.

“It also appears that MPI have learned nothing from Nick Smith's Kermadec debacle and are proposing to reallocate catch shares and undermine the existing rights of commercial fishers, including rights protected under the Treaty Settlement.

“I urge all affected parties to submit on these proposals, and hopefully for once the Minister and MPI will actually listen to fishers,” says Rino Tirikatene.