Government response won’t fix fishing industry

Published: Thu 1 Mar 2012 04:49 PM
1 March 2012
Government response won’t fix fishing industry
“The Government’s response to the report from the inquiry into Foreign Charter Vessels won’t fix the fishing industry and is a lost opportunity,” Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota spokesperson Neville Donaldson said today.
The SFWU represents 2,000 land-based workers in the seafood industry.
“The Inquiry gave the Government the opportunity to recognise the current system in the fishing industry has failed, that we need to do it differently and that this means returning the industry to a New Zealand industry employing New Zealand workers,” he said.
“But the Government response has ignored the urgent need to provide employment of New Zealand workers.”
Neville Donaldson said it was clear that Government wanted to simply tinker with a system that is fundamentally failed.
“Fixing the issues in the industry required real changes. Instead, Government is by-passing this opportunity to address our unacceptably high unemployment rate, particularly for young Maori, and the opportunity for employment creation, career-pathing and upskilling of New Zealand workers,” he said.
“On top of that, far from protecting the NZ Inc brand, undermined by current fishing practices which have caused international outrage, the timid Government response further jeopardises that brand by continuing to allow the hiring of foreign charter vessels and crews where exploitation is required in order to be competitive.”

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