The National party have made claims in regard to a whitebaiting ban, however Labour say they do not intend to ban the fishing of the New Zealand native delicacy.
Local Labour list MP Jan Tinetti says she disagrees with the claims made by National MP Sarah Dowie, who released a statement yesterday stating National would oppose the second reading of the Conservation Amendment Bill.
“National will oppose the second reading of the Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill, as it will ultimately result in the prohibition of whitebaiting in New Zealand," says Sarah.
“The Bill’s transitional clauses mean that after a year, whitebaiting will be prohibited unless there is specific authorisation to do otherwise.
“Eugenie Sage’s ideological views are not friendly towards recreational fishers and hunters. The whitebaiting community has also told me they feel as though her whitebait consultation process has been a farce and they are concerned about their future livelihoods and the future of the Kiwi pastime.
“If Ms Safe has her way, whitebaiting will be prohibited.
“Whitebaiting is a Kiwi tradition for many New Zealanders, it puts food on the table, creates livelihoods and is a recreational pastime. The whitebaiting community have already subscribed to voluntary protections of the fishery to assist its sustainability and deserve to have their say on these regulations.
“To stand up for the whitebaiting community I encourage you to sign my petition to save whitebaiting in New Zealand,” says Sarah.
Local Labour list MP Jan Tinetti says she has sat in on the Environment Select Committee a few times when they have been working through the Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill.
"I can say that there are absolutely no plans to ban whitebaiting.
“To say anything different is mischief making. The whitebait fishery needs better management and the Bill provides the tools to do that. The Conservation Amendment Bill does enable areas of conservation land to be closed to whitebaiting.
“That means native fish can have some rivers and streams where they can swim upstream and spawn without ending up in a net and a whitebait patty.
“It is important to remember that 74 per cent of NZ’s native fish species are threatened or at risk of extinction.
“There is already strong public support to improve the management of whitebait fisheries and there will be public consultation before any changes are made to the whitebaiting regulations,” says Jan.