7 Mar 2012

Union leader says time to get serious on Maori fishing jobs

7:23 am on 7 March 2012

A union leader says it is time for tribes to get serious about providing jobs for Maori in the fishing industry.

Council of Trade Union vice president Maori Syd Keepa fears iwi might be focussing too much on investment, and not enough on people.

Last week's ministerial report into the use of foreign charter vessels failed to directly address his call for the Maori-owned fishing quota to be examined, and for the industry to employ more rangatahi or young people.

Mr Keepa says iwi need to work with the Government to find a way to create trawler crew jobs for Maori.

He says when iwi leaders make a speech, or korero, they say "he tangata, he tangata, he tangata" - "it's the people, it's the people, it's the people".

Mr Keepa says he would not like to think the culture that they are portraying is about investments, investments, investments.

Te Ohu Kaimoana - the Maori Fisheries Trust - says it is yet to advise iwi on the implications of the ministerial inquiry.