Fine for fox to guard henhouse – says fox

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 31st, 2016 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, Conservation, john key, national, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

Well they would, wouldn’t they:

Government rejects ‘fox in the henhouse’ criticism

The Government is rejecting claims its monitoring of over-fishing has been compromised by awarding a contract for video surveillance to a company owned by the fishing industry.

Greenpeace says cameras to be installed on fishing boats to monitor their activities will be run by a company called Trident, which is part owned by seafood giant Sanford and a selection of other Kiwi seafood and fishing companies.

Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman said it was like “the fox guarding the henhouses”. But Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has accused Greenpeace of an “ill-informed beat up” and says it makes no difference who owns the cameras. …

Who owns the cameras is a nonsense distraction, the issue is what happens to the footage:

Trident only sends a summary of the footage to MPI, and it’s up to Trident to tell MPI if it spots anything suspicious.

So the industry is its own watchpoodle, which explains why we have massive unreported over fishing and dumping. Why isn’t MPI taking the actions that it should, when its own officials were somewhat aware of what was going on?

Obviously there is a huge problem here, and the Nat denials (including Key of course) are not worth the hot air they’re uttered with. I wonder if this has anything to do with it:

John Key questioned on National’s closeness to fishing industry

National Party president Peter Goodfellow leaves the National caucus room during any discussion about the fishing industry to avoid any conflict of interest, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Goodfellow has significant interests in fishing company Sanfords, which holds about a quarter of the total fishing quota in New Zealand.

Mr Key was asked about National’s closeness to the commercial fishing industry today after a contract to monitor the commercial fleet was awarded to a business whose general partner was owned by fishing companies – one of which is Sanfords. …

My my isn’t that cozy. So, it’s fine for the fox to guard the henhouse, says the fox.

26 comments on “Fine for fox to guard henhouse – says fox”

  1. Janet 1

    Like Shewen looking at the Panama Papers

    • save nz 1.1

      Yep there is a trend here of getting cronies to watch cronies, to pretend something is happening when they get found out!

  2. TepidSupport 2

    Surely there are numerous other companies who could fulfil this role without conflicts!
    If it smells like fish, tastes like fish……

    • Wensleydale 2.1

      Of course there are. But this is one of National’s “foregone conclusion, band-aid over a gaping chest wound” solutions. It’s very much their stock-in-trade and I’m surprised anyone is at all… surprised. What’s more, you could probably replace Nathan Guy with a mouldy scarecrow and no one would notice.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    At the end of the day it is the customers who will punish them for failing to institute a credible regime – large customers like Tesco want a clean green image, so NZ will get bottom dollar for its fish. As usual.

    • TC 3.1

      Tesco will take what it gets as the ocean plunder has gone past peak fish.

      Certain players get sfa now as they’re run by iwi and boys club members well remunerated regardless of bottom lines.

      Fish, milk, timber etc treated as commodities to plunder rather than precious resources.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Fish, milk, timber etc treated as commodities to plunder rather than precious resources.

        That’s the way it’s always been with capitalism. Why else you think they’re so opposed to protecting the environment?

  4. vto 4

    There has been no statement as to why Trident is doing this and not some other independent organisation.

    Why not?

    • DH 4.2

      There have been some statements vto, but they appear a little contradictory.


      “Mr Key defended the decision to give the contract to Trident, saying it was won in an open, competitive tender process.”


      “Mr Key says Trident won the contract because it has the “best technology”.”

      and from Guy…

      “They went through a very open and transparent process, had a couple of tenders as I understand it, they worked through that process and they awarded it to Trident.”

      That seems a bit counterfactual and also suggests lowest price wasn’t the winning tender.

      • vto 4.2.1

        Thanks Pat and DH, missed those. We deal with tenders often and those statements smell ….

        But more simple than that – there is an absolutely clear conflict of interest with Trident and as such it should be excluded.

        It is the most basic of principles

        ignored here – wonder why …. follow the money ….

        • Macro

          The main reason that the contract was awarded to Trident is because it is owned by Sanfords – in which the president of the Nats has a signficant interest – end of story.
          Corruption and cronyism is rife in this shame of a “govt”.

  5. Keith 5

    Well we’ve got Keys boy John Shewan. a man whose reason for being in life is to minimise or eliminate tax for his clients, doing a whiter than white wash inquiry for National with tax havens, so why should this latest sham be any different?

  6. adam 6

    Primary Industries Minister, that Corporate Guy…

  7. AB 7

    The fish in our waters belong to all of us – why has this public asset been privatised to the extent it has?
    Any Kiwi with a modicum of skill and patience should be able to go to the sea and have a decent chance of (sustainably) getting a meal for their family. This is vanishing and increasingly recreational fishers need large boats and other expensive kit to succeed regularly. Shore-based fishers without the means to buy this kit struggle.
    Once there are large amounts of money to be made from fish, people will cheat and lie.

    • vto 7.1

      Our entire coastline should be divided into 20km lengths and each second one be given over to a reserve..

      Imagine how much more fush there would be

  8. M. Gray 8

    this is a Government with no ethics and no principles so what do you expect

  9. Macro 9

    And the company doing the supposed surveillance? Sanfords – in which – oh no! Goodfellow has a significant interest. Gezz! the stench of rotting fish in this govt gets even worse.

  10. Mosa 10

    No one should be surprised with this latest scandal with the fishing industry.
    All these companies donate to the National party and this is no different to the rural sector.
    They are protected to do what they want no questions asked.
    Primary Industries is a joke.
    It took Animal welfare to highlight the torture of Bobby calves No prosecution’s that I am aware in this appalling case of cruelty!!!!!
    That’s the message sent to all these donors who give so generously and the example is set by this rotten administration.

  11. weka 11

    What I’d like to know is if the evil bastards sat down and came up with a strategy for how to corrupt NZ so that it didn’t look like obvious corruption and we would all just let it happen, or if it was simply a natural consequence of having people in charge who have not ethics or sense of what’s right.

    • Bill 11.1

      This’ll be popular, but….I don’t think they’re necessarily ‘evil bastards’. I don’t care who was put in charge, the outcome would be more or less the same. I mean that in general terms rather than in relation to a specific issue.

      Remember how there was legislation around banking activity that got subverted after about 50 or 60 years? And know how there is legislation around slavery that is routinely subverted these days? (I sometimes wonder how long it will be before us wage slaves are put back in our rightful place.)

      The profit motive is a very powerful thing, and it twists political environments into strange shapes where fucked up stuff happens all the time. In the end, the profit motive will always be upheld – and any legislation that impedes it will prove to temporary for as long as we retain market systems of production and distribution.

      Usually sooner rather than later, legislative frameworks get captured by the actors they are meant to contain. Self regulation is the way and final destination of this world that we just keep excusing and accepting…

    • vto 11.2

      I suspect it is the same right across the globe weka in that it arises from countless individual acts of trying to dupe the system rather than coordinated group actions…

      However, group actions would certainly occur from time to time, under which the individual acts occur…

      It is also a bit like what is happening in the US with people thinking they can get all aggressive and assault people because Donald Trump implies it is well ok. If the boss does it, so too will the underlings…

  12. Big dog 12

    Blatant corruption but is anyone surprised anymore?Be interesting to see how the Key loving recreational fishing reps cop this one.With their trousers around their ankles,I’m picking 😳

  13. Big dog 13

    Also as an ex commercial fisherman with my own boat I can assure you that I’ve never met anyone in the trade who wouldn’t take the last known fish in the world.

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