2 Aug 2013

Maori Party hopes for quota exemption

3:15 pm on 2 August 2013

The Maori Party hopes the Minister for Primary Industries won't scrap a plan that gives foreign ships with Maori fishing quota more time to re-flag and register in New Zealand.

The proposed amendment to the Fisheries Bill would give foreign vessels holding Maori fishing quota until 2020 to come under New Zealand laws instead of 2016.

The four-year exemption follows concerns by iwi that the cost of the changes will make it uneconomical to fish their quota.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says it's likely changes will be made to the bill.

But Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is not happy about that, saying while the issues of health and safety affect the industry, there is also an important opportunity to value the quota that Maori were granted and protect iwi interest.

Mr Flavell says the best way forward is to work through it slowly and apply a temporary extension to allow everyone to fall in line.