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.