14 Jun 2010

New Zealand called on to set up fishing industry academy for Pacific

3:29 pm on 14 June 2010

A New Zealand union official says the New Zealand Government needs to get its priorities right when it talks of fostering the fishing industry in Pacific countries.

Last week New Zealand's Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Fisheries said they would increase co-operation in fisheries management and development with Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu as part of the Government's new aid focus on sustainable economic growth.

But Neville Donaldson of the Service and Food Workers Union says it's hypocritical to talk of employment and job creation in the Pacific when jobs and processing in this country are disappearing at a fast rate.

He says the first thing that should be done is the creation of a fishing industry training academy that serves the whole region, including New Zealand.

"They should make those facilities available for all peoples of the Pacific area to be able to come and receive training in fishing and processing and all the other career opportunities that are there in the fishing industry. I think they should be regulating the industry to employ labour that's domiciled in the areas that are managing the fisheries resource."