Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Fishing reserves hijacked by co-governance agenda


“The Government’s plan to roll out more fishing reserves will be welcomed by some, but it shouldn’t be used to smuggle in a co-governance agenda,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Revitalising the Gulf is the latest example of the Government’s drive to give power to people based on who their grandparents were through co-governance.

“A fishing reserve is not a cultural construct, it’s just a place where fishing is banned to give fish a chance. There is no need for special Māori knowledge. We can all see that if you stop catching fish in certain areas there will be more of them.

“Not only is co-management unnecessary, it is divisive. It can only mean that some people will get a greater say, and perhaps greater rights according to who their grandparents were.

“There is no doubt there will be a rahui here and a customary catch there, meaning reserves are not created equal for all people.

“Fish don’t do race. The protection of the Hauraki Gulf should be based on good science to maximise fishing opportunities for all New Zealanders.

“ACT supports marine reserves, but allowing some Māori to customary take in a fishing reserve makes the policy more about race than fishing.”