[Sitting date: 22 May 2012. Volume:680;Page:2229. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
SHANE ARDERN (National—Taranaki - King Country) to the
Minister for Primary Industries: What further decisions has the Government made in response to the Ministerial Inquiry into Foreign Charter Fishing Vessels?
Hon DAVID CARTER (Minister for Primary Industries)
: Today the Minister of Labour and I have announced that the Government will require the reflagging of foreign-owned fishing vessels operating in New Zealand waters. The Government’s decision sends a very clear message that New Zealand is serious about the fair treatment of fishing crews, the safety of vessels, and New Zealand’s international reputation for ethical and sustainable fishing practices.
Shane Ardern: Why has the Government decided to require all foreign charter fishing vessels to be reflagged?
Hon DAVID CARTER: The Government believes that reflagging best meets our objectives for foreign charter vessels. Reflagging will place foreign charter vessels under the responsibility and control of New Zealand. It will hold domestic operators
accountable for the employment of crew, ensuring that New Zealand’s criminal law applies in full, and will resolve possible trade issues and reputational concerns.
Shane Ardern: What legislation changes will be required to reflag foreign charter fishing vessels?
Hon DAVID CARTER: To reflag all vessels to New Zealand will require legislative changes to the Fisheries Act, and I plan to introduce those changes into the House before the end of the year. There will be a 4-year transition period from today. This will enable the fishing industry to have time to adjust to the new regime, and the Government will work closely with the industry to help facilitate this. In particular, work will need to be done on recognising the foreign crews’ qualifications.