Half way there

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, May 23rd, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: jobs, Maori Issues - Tags:

It’s great that foreign fishing vessels in New Zealand waters will now be required to be flagged here and, in theory, will be subject to New Zealand law. But I reckon that abuses of those crews is only half the problem. The other problem is that we have Kiwi quota owners, in particular iwi, employing foreign fishers while quarter of a million of our people are jobless.

Iwi got those quotas as a recognition of their traditional rights to the fisheries. I don’t reckon those traditional rights involved getting poor third-worlders to do the work while so many Maori are unemployed. It’s time for the iwi to stand up and support their people. Yeah, it might hurt the bottom line of the fishing operations a little but all that money would go back into their communities, and give young Maori a chance at a decent job. That’s got to be good for the iwi.

They just need to look beyond the narrow measure of their fishing operations’ profits to the wider good of their people.

22 comments on “Half way there”

  1. Randle 1

    Why is it then there are so many vacancies in the fishing industry? Anyone, anyone at all can get a job as a deckhand tomorrow as long as they are willing to travel.

    The truth is most people aren’t keen to work on a fishing boat. It’s one of the most dangerous and hardest jobs out there.

    Kiwi inshore boats generally fish sunrise to sundown and sometimes through the night requiring shifts of 24 hours plus. They are constantly struggling for lack of crew.

    For the deep sea boats not everyone can/wants to work 6 hours on, 6 hours off in an artificially lit factory in the middle of the ocean for five weeks straight.

    It is highly unlikely that removing foreign crews completely would in turn create positions for thousands of kiwis.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “The truth is most people aren’t keen to work on a fishing boat. It’s one of the most dangerous and hardest jobs out there.”

      Because the work isn’t being properly remunerated.

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.1

        Exactly. The crab fishing boats in Alaska and Nova Scotia are never short of crews even though it’s among the most dangerous work in the world. The difference is they can make good money.

    • Deano 1.2

      sounds like you need some onshore investment in training and in making the work more compatible with families.. Pick a community with high unemployment, start up training in conjunction with the iwi. In a couple of years you’ll have a thriving skill base.

      • Gareth 1.2.1

        Unfortunatly the money is related to the catch value, if you are seining ky at 27c a kg you aint getting rich… Get on a toothfish boat and you.ll be doin ok

  2. Jeremy Harris 2

    Seems not all Maori are as pleased as you:

    Ngahiwi Tomoana, the former chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana, the governing body of iwi-owned Aotearoa Fisheries, said reflagging could see Maori going back to the Government for compensation if commercial returns decreased.


    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      That, unfortunately, wouldn’t surprise me and it shows the total contempt the Maori leaders have for their people.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Someone ought to take Ngahiwi Tomoana aside and quietly tell him you can’t get a treaty settlement as compensation for losing your slave labour.

    • Georgecom 3.1

      Have to agree. You have the quota and can choose how you use it. But don’t ask for compensation when the state tightens up on labour regulations in the fishing industry.

  4. gareth 4

    Obviously he’s not overly concerned about the well being of the crews preferring to take maximum profits…
    Sounds like he’d be a good Nact voter, perhaps he’s busy lobbying the govt to abolish the minimum wage….

  5. DavidW 5

    You do have to wonder at where the profits from quota leasing end up.

    It is hard to find evidence of any benefits trickling down to the rank and file of the iwi where (presumably) the greatest need exists. Instead we have racial groups continually bleating for more government aid, higher benefits, more of everything.

    Surely there should come a time when the settlements show evidence of benefitting the tribal members, ………………………… shouldn’t there?

    • prism 5.1

      Maori aren’t children who have to make reports on how they spent their pocket money. They certainly don’t all do the best with their settlements but that’s their business. They just have to learn how to be as cunning as pakeha businessmen and we have to hope they will be better than such pakeha and adopt sustainable business practice that’s people friendly, especially to Maori.

  6. A bigger problem I think is the fact that the Government has chosen to have a four year lag period in dealing with this. The four year lag period, which means it might be mid-2016 before the owners of F.C.V.’s have to clean their act up, is basically a license to continue for another 3 years or so.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yep, it should be no more than 6 months.

      Personally, I think that it should be an outright ban on foreign fishing vessels in NZ waters.

  7. Matthew 7

    Iwi should be happy to break even on their quotas if it means providing jobs for their Whanau. The selling of quota is a disgrace. WINZ could get involved with training incentives, Iwi could make it a priority to train their people for the jobs. The money coming from these quotas, which ends up in the pocket of the Maori elite, is not helping the ‘maori on the street’ which is the whole point of treaty claims.

  8. These vessels will never be NZ registered.
    Simply, a Survey will be first required.
    They are dangerous rust buckets, and Maritime NZ will not pass them.
    Quota holders will have to look elsewhere overseas.
    Where are the boats to be found ? – not in New Zealand, other than the few already registered here, who have a full workload.
    Bareboat Charters seems to be the answer. Overseas owner provides the boat and NZ provide the crews. These are generally good quality boats, and they are available.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Or we via the government could build new boats in NZ from NZ resources and lease them out to people/iwi who want to do fishing.

      • gareth 8.1.1

        and we could ensure/mandate that they use the most up to date fishing methods… preferably no bottom trawling

        • Draco T Bastard

          That should be a given no matter where they fishers get their boats from. Not going to happen though as the government will just leave it to the ‘market’ to decide which is the most efficient method which is almost always going to be the most destructive.

    • prism 8.2

      Fortran I remember hearing that Spain used to subsidise the Basques fishing boats so as to give them an industry and that they had too many for their purposes. If so I wonder if they still have surplus.

  9. Adam 9

    Less than 20 percent of the fish caught by foreign charter vessels comes off Maori quota, but somehow this whole business is painted as an iwi problem? This isn’t about the workers. This is about Talleys wanting to squeeze out the competition so it can keep its boats active, and about NZ getting pissed off with Korea’s position in trade talks.

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