Tag Archive: fishing

Nash risks pulling a Little

Fisheries minister Stuart Nash has announced that he will try to get support from within cabinet to roll out cameras on commercial fishing boats. 

The policy, which was put on ice when the Labour government was sworn in, has been on ice given Labour’s coalition partner NZ First having strong ties to the fishing industry.

So, Nash has announced that in July, he will do his best to gain support in cabinet for the putting cameras on fishing boats.

Nash is in risky territory here. The fishing industry is a friend of NZ First’s, and, the last time a Labour minister tried to sway NZ First to their way of thinking when Justice minister Andrew Little attempted to gain their support for the planned repeal of three strikes, NZ First publicly said no in a humiliation for Little.

Now, Nash finds himself in a similar position, trying to change NZ First’s mind on a core position of theirs.

And honestly, I see Nash most likely suffering the same fate that Little did.

Haggling over the Kermadecs

NZ First leader Winston Peters has signalled to the Greens that he is willing to negotiate over the Kermadec Islands marine sanctuary. 

The Kermadec island sanctuary was originally proposed by the previous National government, but NZ First’s connections to the fishing industry put the proposal on ice when they entered a coalition with the Labour government.

Now though, it looks as if there’s hope for the sanctuary.

Although, it’s unlikely to be a full sanctuary. If this deal does come to life, NZ First’s connections to the fishing industry will make sure that there isn’t a 100% ban on fishing.

Restricted fishing does seem possible, though.

There are a couple of wild cards in play, however.

One is iwi rights. When National announced the sanctuary, there was concern from local iwi about their fishing rights.

While the Greens are of course environmentalist, they also have a history of supporting iwi rights, and giving iwi special fishing rights would probably be seen by Winston Peters as separatism, something NZ First are very strongly opposed to.

The other wild card is that National’s Nick Smith currently has a members bill in the ballot to progress the completion of the sanctuary, in it’s current form, without special rights for either iwi or the fishing industry.

If the Greens support that bill, it will pass no matter what NZ First and Labour think – naturally causing a headache for the whole government – probably part of National’s intention when they put the bill in.

At this point, it’s really hard to say what will happen.

We’ll just have to wait and see.