July 28, 2013
Still hooks in fisheries deal
A change giving iwi more time to shift away from using foreign chartered vessels to catch their fisheries quota may face a battle in parliament.
Parliament’s primary production select committee has recommended the change to the fisheries amendment bill requiring foreign vessels operating in New Zealand waters to reflag as New Zealand by 2016.
Those fishing annual catch entitlement substantially derived from Māori fisheries settlement quota will have until 2020.
The bill came out of a ministerial inquiry looking into allegations that crews of some foreign chartered vessels were being mistreated, damaging New Zealand’s reputation.
Act leader John Banks says creating an exemption for some iwi was an example of privilege, and a better solution was to drop the re-flagging idea altogether.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says he will seek more advice on the issue.
Iwi told the select committee that the charters were needed to catch high volume, low value fish, and the changes would diminish the value of the Māori fisheries settlement.
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