26 Sep 2016

Video: Key stands by minister over fish dumping criticism

9:07 am on 26 September 2016

In Focus - Prime Minister John Key is standing by the Minister for Primary Industries despite an inquiry criticising the ministry's decision not to prosecute over fish dumping, and a top MPI official official saying the problem was systemic.

The Heron report said the ministry's decision not to prosecute five vessels for fish dumping, despite having camera footage and admissions from the fishermen themselves, was flawed.

And in an internal email, which formed part of the report, an MPI manager suggested that illegal fish dumping was so widespread that if the rules were properly enforced over half of inshore fishers would go out of business.

Mr Key told Morning Report there was confusion around the prosecution because cameras which filmed the fish dumping were on the boats for scientific reasons and it was not clear whether the footage could be used for a prosecution.

Mr Key said the minster, Nathan Guy, was doing a good job, and that most in the fishing industry wanted to play by the rules "but you've got to get on top of the odd person who does something wrong".

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