Idiot minister should be sacked over Snapper debacle

You might think I am being harsh calling for the sacking of a National minister, but let me explain.

When you are a minister that fails to listen to your caucus colleagues as they wear a line to your office to tell them about the angry constituents concerned about your actions, when you are the minister who constantly tells those same caucus colleagues that your officials say this or say that and when you are the minister who has shown a distinct lack of either initiative, nouse, or political savvy, instead displayed astonishing idiocy and a propensity to be tone-deaf to over one million recreational fishers then you don’t deserve your warrant. If you can’t act because your officials say something even if you don’t agree with them then we don’t need you as a minister. Ministers are supposed to have discretion, that is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. If you can’t decide or act and just do what your officials say then we don’t need you as a minister.

But what really seals his fate is gifting Labour a stick to beat the government with. That is truly unforgivable. Especially as Labour don’t give a rats arse about fishers or hunters…but when you gift a platform to the opposition and a club with which they can really beat you with that is not a beltway issue then you are a risk to the government and you should be sacked.

Nathan Guy has done this, he is the minister “irresponsible”, he should go.  

That’s the central question. They understand the need for quota management, but they don’t understand how they are the bad guys here. The minister is tone deaf, the minister is inept, and those are National voters listening to Labour MPs.

John Key might have been feeling a little smug over the weekend thinking the Fonterra issue had got him off the hook over the Dunne/Vance affair, but he won’t be feeling smug now.

Having a useless, tone deaf minister causing an electoral stink worse than 50 tonnes of rotting fish just makes caucus think he is out of touch as well as a leader.

Issues like this come along only so often and MPs bordering coastal areas, and that is most of National’s MPs will be thinking that this issue could not only cost them the election, but also their jobs as ministers and as MPs.

There will be a caucus insurrection over this unless either Nathan Guy or John Key sorts this out pronto. They can expect to have a very uncomfortable conference as angry members ask why this rubbish is even necessary. Once the members start showing displeasure then other minor issues will raise their uncomfortable heads. Like why the party spent over $2 million on an old brick building in an earthquake city or why remits are being shunted off the main floor into break out groups and why the board and PM and Steve Joyce are afraid of unions.

Yes things could get very uncomfortable in Nelson, and what was supposed to be a showcase of the PM..with nice video presentations and orders from above that uppity Young Nats are to be stomped on could well become a cacophony and touchstone event of people questioning just what is happening. Let’s see if the members have the stones. I can well imagine the stunned look on Peter Goodfellow’s face in attempting to deal with a little bit of insurrection. Peter Kiely will puff up with self importance and quote all sorts of rules to hush people up…it isn’t going to be nice.

Nathan Guy has caused this, and now questions will be asked about John Key’s leadership for allowing an inept and captured minister to let an issue like this blow out of proportion. Add on all the stuff around spying on MPs, journalists…well…eye-brows will be raised.

 


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  • GazzW

    The PM is on ZB at 1000 this morning for a two hour session with Leighton Smith. Action time for the WO Army fishermen??

    • leighton AT newstalkzb.co.nz

  • Guy appears to have been captured by his officials. First meat, then Fonterra, now Snapper. Not a good look. Once unfortunate, twice concerning, thrice and alienating one million voters totally unconscionable

    • GazzW

      Or even worse…………captured by Peter Goodfellow’s commercial interests.

      I can’t think of a better way than this to lose Waitakere Man’s vote.

  • maninblack

    Nathan Guy is inept.. i heard him getting questioned on his lack of leadership over the fonterra issue.. it was cringe worthy.
    Now this. Why on earth would you touch this issue! FFS

  • blokeintakapuna

    Fish… Like air and water are a free natural resource for all of NZ to enjoy and use.

    When 1 group of select individuals attempts to corner a free resource that all of NZ is entitled to, over everyone else – especially for commercial gain – then our elected representatives need to stand up for the silenced majority.

    What would our grand parents’ parents’ think of the legacy our politicians are creating for our society?

    Mr. Guy & Key…. Please listen!

    • Bunswalla

      More to the point, what legacy are we leaving for our children’s children if we don’t stand up for the right to responsibly and sustainably enjoy recreational fishing?

      Nobody I know is being greedy about this, and if reductions have to be made because the science says so, then all well and good. Natural justice and common sense dictate that reductions should be at the very least equally split between commercial and recreational. Very good arguments can be made that better fishing techniques and equipment would reduce the wastage of dead under-sized and out of quota snapper.

      Plus there’s “Moyle’s Promise” that if any future reductions had to made, they would be first applied to the commercial quota before touching the recreational one.

      PS Water’s only free until it comes out of the tap, bloke, from that point on we pay plenty for it!

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Folks…Our camp is delighted. Nutty Nathan Guy is working for Sheep now. He has realised Sheep is the saviour and messiah. So Nutty Nathan is starting to damage National. Watch out for next opinion poll from Rouge Morgan end of next week. National is toast. John Key as usual is asleep in beehive while Nutty digs the grave fast and furious. John Key ain’t going to do a damn about this quota issue. Bye bye folks. Nice having you for six years.

    • Clive

      Nathan Guy is a typical Govt employee, who, when he gets into a hole first blames his officials (meat saga in China) and/or remains silent and lets others do the rap (current fiasco Fonterra/Snapper quotas.)
      get rid I say.. Parasite on the National Govt.

  • BobaJob

    Perhaps Peter Goodfellow thinks he can get a better auction price on a Snapper Main course dinner with the PM?

    Poor old Nathan Guy, just a tool for those two.

    • 4077th

      Yes a tool in so many ways..

  • Mullet

    I went to the Hamilton meeting last night and had to park all the way down the street there were that many people. People were very angry. Can’t believe I found myself actually clapping for Cunliffe! David Bennett turned up eventually and tried his best but was way out of his depth. The level of anger at MPI and Nathan Guy was very high. This issue will sink this government like a lead balloon.

  • Muffin

    They need to drop the commercial quota on a equal basis or spread the drop evenly, that should fix it overnight.

  • Goldie

    Nathan Guy just hasn’t got the chops for what is a big and important portfolio.
    I was surpised he got the job of Minister for Primary Industries – he had badly slipped up in his previous job which showed he didn’t have any grip of his department.
    Recreational fishermen are National voters. One of the basic rules of politics is that you look after your core constituency. If Nathan Guy can’t understand that, he has to go.

  • Travis Poulson

    Surefire way to piss off National voters Mr Guy. I trust you will see this and common sense will prevail. I hope.

    • Nope. Wrong personality type. Think Aaron Gilmore. Reality simply doesn’t break through.

      • Travis Poulson

        Don’t ruin my Friday with reality please.

    • He won’t, he has a bovine attitude and is utterly captured by his officials.

      • Clive

        Bovine .. you said it.. if you watch him. his response is just like a cow

    • 4077th

      Haha Travis, Pipe dream mate. “Minister” and “Common sense” are mutually exclusive.

      • Travis Poulson

        Lucky for you we didn’t put a bet on it.

  • disqus_QH0I5jvhI2

    I disagree that the furore over SNA 1 can be blamed on Guy – but I do agree he should man up and do something about it. First thing he should do is tell his Ministry call LegaSea and their cohorts to account for the selective reporting and mis-representation of the SNA 1 initial position paper released for public consultation by MPI. The alarmist and sensationalised response to that paper is great PR for LegaSea but detracts from an informed debate about the real issues faced by fishery managers and interested parties.

    Second thing Guy must do is to back the New Zealand fisheries management regime. Whatever you might think you know about it, that system has and is working to rebuild depleted fish stocks and maintain useful levels of stock abundance. Trouble is that it is complicated, technical and difficult to translate to a simple three line message. So Guy (and Heatley before him) abandons the principles of the fisheries management system in favour of populist decisions. Most recent was the Otago paua decision – it was weak and unprincipled; and this week a decision to exclude only commercial fishing from an area in the BoI around Te Puna. In the context of the ‘small and discrete areas for the purposes of customary food gathering’ the Te Puna mataitai is no more or less a suck up to Maori for some current or imminent slight.

    Third thing Guy must do is to stand up to the ill-informed recreational fishing mob whose members belief principles of birth rights and preferential entitlements are so manifestly incorrect and without any legislative or regulatory foundation. Free and unfettered access to a public resource for personal gain – where else do any new Zealanders get that? A multi-million dollar recreational fishing industry which make no direct contribution to fisheries management – how is that allowed to continue?

    I don’t deny anyone the opportunity to go fishing – but it is not a right; it is a privileged opportunity (particularly if you measure the quality of the recreational fishing experience here against other countries). And with rights come responsibilities – and there is a responsibility on the recreational fishing industry and all of its participants to be accountable for what they catch and what they kill.

    So get on with it Minister Guy – start managing fishing. You have a statutory obligation to do that and you have a big agency to make it happen. they are the Ministry of Don’t Do Much at all when it comes to fisheries management and as an observer over many years it is no surprise to me that they also disappoint politicians and New Zealand generally with their ineptitude over meat exports to China for example. Wayne MCNee certainly knew when to cut and run didn’t he?

    • Mullet

      You are completely wrong here. You must work for MPI or Sanfords or something. The recreational fishing sector (mob in your words!) are the ones doing the conservation and preserving. We have had voluntary cuts in the bag limit over the years but the commercial sector have done taken no hit whatsoever. I agree that the Minister should manage fishing but do that by bringing the commercial sector into line by cutting their wasteful and destructive fishing practices like trawling. Fishing is a right and the rec fishers have by in large shown that they are responsible. Where is responsilble behaviour from the commercial sector? It’s non-existent.

      • disqus_QH0I5jvhI2

        No, I am not completely wrong. And nor do i work for MPI or Sanfords. You disagree my views – I am OK with that. But I am not OK when you allege no responsible behaviour by the commercial sector. Which sector has exceeded the allowance made for it when the TAC was set in order to ensure a rebuild of the SNA fishery?

        • Mullet

          How do we know that the rec sector has exceeded its allowance (i.e. quota)? The estimates on this by MPI are not sound. Flying planes around every now and again counting boats is not very scientific! They cannot (or don’t want to) even estimate what the economic value of recreational fishing is? Besides why should the rec sector (i.e. the people of NZ) be constrained into a allowance that was set in 1997 and has not taken into account population growth etc. The fishery has been rebuilding. Why won’t the commercial sector release reports about the amount of waste from their operations? Most likely because New Zealanders would be outraged by the waste going on by the commercial sector.

          • Kurrunulla

            You because the best available information confirms it. If you dont have confidence in the information then do something about it – commercial fishermen record and report effort and catch for every trip they do – it is mandatory. There is no doubt about their catches – their reporting in routinely audited and their catches are monitored from landing to market. Recreational catch is a biog black hole other than for the available survey information – it was good enough to use in the stock assessment; good enough to use in the previous TAC setting; and good enough now to confirm that the recreational allowance has been significantly exceeded.

          • Kurrunulla

            Apologies for poor typing – smartphone keyboards are a bugger. That previous comment should commence with “You do because …”

          • Mullet

            The commercial guys DO NOT report the waste!! It is NOT taken out of their quota. They WILL NOT release the figures on the wastage. Perhaps when they do we can have more confidence in the sector. With regards to the info on the rec take. I pay my taxes for MPI to do their job. They have an army of economist etc in Wellington, NIWA and their lot. They should put some effort into getting better science behind the rec take and stop pushing these pet fundamental research topics that they fund. I work in the university sector and see some of the project they fund, much of it pie in the sky stuff. The previous TAC was set years ago in 1997. This issue is really about the commercial sector protecting what they see as their “rights” to the quota. They want to entrench proportionality in the quota management regime. This is detrimental to all NZ’s long term. It is clear to see that MPI and it looks like Nathan Guy have been captured by commercial fishing interests. Look at the leadership of the National party and its plan to see.

            Why did National remove any recreational representation from the MPI advisory board and stack it solely with representatives from the commercial sector? This all smells very fishy to me.
            I’m just an average recreational fisher who just wants to go fishing. That’s it.

          • TOR

            Under the fisheries act the minister must allow for recreational Fishers before the commercial TAC is set. The recreational allowance was guessed in 1997 and the population has increased since then so of course the actual recreational guesstimate take has gone up over the 97 allowances. The allowance needs to be reassessed for population increase and reset according to a reasonable restocking rate. TAC must then be recalculated from that point on
            Commercial interests and the MPI are primarily responsible for the dismal state of the snapper stock a all around the coast and need to be held accountable because at the end of the day we all lose out when it’s gone

    • Looks like the vested interests here…I think you should declare your interest…voluntarily.

      • disqus_QH0I5jvhI2

        I am a retired commercial fisherman, a retired charter fishing industry skipper and still a regular recreational food gatherer. Clear enough?

        So now you will be asking all other correspondents their provenance?

  • Ururoa

    I want to know how many people with plum cushy jobs in the fisheries companies are ex MAF/MPI bureaucrats? They call it “amakudari” (descent from heaven) in Japan; civil servants retiring to land very well paid positions in the private sector leveraging their contacts and knowledge of systems in the bureaucracy (not to mention previous favours given???).

    Be an interesting study for someone in our somewhat incestuous little motu.

  • cossackstomper

    Whale
    I want to thank for keeping this going. I like you are stunned by the lack of leadership being shown by senior National Mps or their advisors over this matter. They fail to realise how bad it is. You piss off the fishermen in NZ ,and its way worse than the Gun lobby in America. We are Country with a large coastal area ,and we see it as our birth right to be able to fish without government interference. Nathan Guy is an egotistical twat who is leading national into a sewer with his handling of this situation. He didn’t even have the common sense to sit down and talk with the recreational fishers before this went public . Yet he was stupid enough to meet with the Commercial fishers 3 months before. This has allowed Labour a gift to bring Goodfellow into the mix with his strong business interests in Sanfords.Which intern has sizeable quota in snapper 1 fishery. I strongly believe we are now seeing a trend from National that is very worrying its acting the same as the Clark government did in its death throes ,and alienating the party from voters who put them there. I am sick of seeing snapper the size of Goldfish exported overseas, or available for sale at the fish market. Yet if we landed them we could have our boat confiscated. Trawler wreck the fish breeding stock suck up all the new born. The first thing that should be brought in is a much bigger mesh size on the nets and cod ends so the smaller fish can get out. Key should shut this issue down quick as a Labour are making a meal out of it ,and quite rightly so

    • kehua

      This is the problem you get when asking a boy to do a mans job.

  • cossackstomper

    This says it all really under the 1986 fisheries act the minister must provide for recreation fishers before commercial. He really has pharked it up hasn’t he!

    This right co-exists but is entirely
    different from the fishing rights commercial fishers have under the QMS which
    was introduced in 1986 to rein in an expanding commercial fishing industry and
    to rebuild and enhance our coastal fisheries for all New Zealanders.

    The Minister of Fisheries (the Minister):

    is required by Parliament in the Fisheries Act 1996 (the Act)
    to manage our fisheries to ensure sustainability which meeting the
    reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations – ‘fish come first’;

    in managing the use of our fisheries must conserve, use, enhance and develop our
    fisheries to enable New Zealanders to provide for their social, cultural
    and economic well-being;

    must ‘allow for’ the non-commercial right of New Zealanders to
    catch fish before the Minister sets or varies the total allowable commercial
    catch (TACC).

    To do that, the Minister must adhere to
    both the environmental and information principles in the Act, and use the wide
    range of fisheries management tools and mechanisms to make sure that there are
    plenty of fish for the needs of all New Zealanders.

    So what’s the problem with our fisheries then?

    It is widely considered,
    at least among non-commercial fishers, that when the QMS was introduced too
    much quota for too few fish was allocated to commercial fishers.

    On top of that more quota was allocated
    from decisions of the Quota Appeals Authority to commercial fishers unhappy
    with the allocation of quota they got from the Government.

    Since then commercial fishers have carried
    on fishing with ever improving and sophisticated bulk fishing methods. The
    commercial industry favours fisheries under pressure as the best conditions for bulk fishing, namely, fewer,
    vigorously growing, and as a consequence
    smaller fish never to reach middle age let alone old age.

    Meanwhile it is also widely acknowledged
    among non-commercial fishers that the quantity and quality of non-commercial
    fishers’ catch has diminished – fewer and smaller fish. This is having serious consequences with many New Zealanders who
    traditionally and culturally rely on the bounty of the sea for food, let alone
    adverse flow-on effects on the marine environment. For example, the talked
    about fall in the population of sea birds which rely on kahawai to drive bait
    fish to the surface to feed the sea birds.

    How does the Minister allow for my right to fish for food?

    Under the Act the Minister must ‘allow for’
    non-commercial fishing before setting or varying the TACC for commercial
    fishers.

    New Zealanders’ non-commercial public right
    to fish:

    is not quota under the Act, and must not and cannot be
    ‘allocated’ like commercial quota;

    must be ‘allow(ed) for’ before the TACC is fixed or
    varied, and in doing so achieve the sustainable use purpose of the Act
    including enabling New Zealanders to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being.

    The Act gives the Minister has a wide
    discretion and ability in the way the Minister ‘allow(s) for’ our
    non-commercial public right to fish depending on considerations
    such as population shifts and growth, social, cultural and economic considerations,
    the seasons, the weather, the rate of fish reproduction, and fish mortality
    whether naturally or as a result of fishing by both commercial and
    non-commercial fishers.

    One
    possible way of looking at it is that on the one hand the Minister balances enough
    fish left in the water for the future and avoid adverse effects on the aquatic
    environment, and on the other hand letting enough fish be caught to enable people
    to provide for their social, economic,
    and cultural well-being.

    The Minister is supposed to be taking these
    considerations into account, but in
    the case of kahawai the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council (NZBGFC) and the
    New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council didn’t think he did. So they took the
    Minister to court over the way the Minister “allow(ed) for” the interests of
    non-commercial fishers when he set the TACC for kahawai.

    This right co-exists but is entirely
    different from the fishing rights commercial fishers have under the QMS which
    was introduced in 1986 to rein in an expanding commercial fishing industry and
    to rebuild and enhance our coastal fisheries for all New Zealanders.

    The Minister of Fisheries (the Minister):

    is required by Parliament in the Fisheries Act 1996 (the Act)
    to manage our fisheries to ensure sustainability which meeting the
    reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations – ‘fish come first’;

    in managing the use of our fisheries must conserve, use, enhance and develop our
    fisheries to enable New Zealanders to provide for their social, cultural
    and economic well-being;

    must ‘allow for’ the non-commercial right of New Zealanders to
    catch fish before the Minister sets or varies the total allowable commercial
    catch (TACC).

    To do that, the Minister must adhere to
    both the environmental and information principles in the Act, and use the wide
    range of fisheries management tools and mechanisms to make sure that there are
    plenty of fish for the needs of all New Zealanders.

    So what’s the problem with our fisheries then?

    It is widely considered,
    at least among non-commercial fishers, that when the QMS was introduced too
    much quota for too few fish was allocated to commercial fishers.

    On top of that more quota was allocated
    from decisions of the Quota Appeals Authority to commercial fishers unhappy
    with the allocation of quota they got from the Government.

    Since then commercial fishers have carried
    on fishing with ever improving and sophisticated bulk fishing methods. The
    commercial industry favours fisheries under pressure as the best conditions for bulk fishing, namely, fewer,
    vigorously growing, and as a consequence
    smaller fish never to reach middle age let alone old age.

    Meanwhile it is also widely acknowledged
    among non-commercial fishers that the quantity and quality of non-commercial
    fishers’ catch has diminished – fewer and smaller fish. This is having serious consequences with many New Zealanders who
    traditionally and culturally rely on the bounty of the sea for food, let alone
    adverse flow-on effects on the marine environment. For example, the talked
    about fall in the population of sea birds which rely on kahawai to drive bait
    fish to the surface to feed the sea birds.

    How does the Minister allow for my right to fish for food?

    Under the Act the Minister must ‘allow for’
    non-commercial fishing before setting or varying the TACC for commercial
    fishers.

    New Zealanders’ non-commercial public right
    to fish:

    is not quota under the Act, and must not and cannot be
    ‘allocated’ like commercial quota;

    must be ‘allow(ed) for’ before the TACC is fixed or
    varied, and in doing so achieve the sustainable use purpose of the Act
    including enabling New Zealanders to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being.

    The Act gives the Minister has a wide
    discretion and ability in the way the Minister ‘allow(s) for’ our
    non-commercial public right to fish depending on considerations
    such as population shifts and growth, social, cultural and economic considerations,
    the seasons, the weather, the rate of fish reproduction, and fish mortality
    whether naturally or as a result of fishing by both commercial and
    non-commercial fishers.

    One
    possible way of looking at it is that on the one hand the Minister balances enough
    fish left in the water for the future and avoid adverse effects on the aquatic
    environment, and on the other hand letting enough fish be caught to enable people
    to provide for their social, economic,
    and cultural well-being.

    The Minister is supposed to be taking these
    considerations into account, but in
    the case of kahawai the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council (NZBGFC) and the
    New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council didn’t think he did. So they took the
    Minister to court over the way the Minister “allow(ed) for” the interests of
    non-commercial fishers when he set the TACC for kahawai.

    • Kurrunulla

      Where did you find that sequence of selective interpretation and opinion? Let’s play a game – the game is that there is no commercial fishing occurring – only recreational fishing. But for some reason the Government still has a statutory responsibility to ensure that fish stock abundance is maintained at sustainable limits. Every other year someone from the government is out there somewhere measuring recreational fishing effort and catch and one year the total aggregate catches exceed the sustainable limit – by a lot (remember, we are playing a game).

      So what happens – the Minister cannot steal any share of the commercial allowance to make up for recreational overfishing; so what does he or she do?

      A hint – a Minister cannot escape his/her statutory responsibility – catches must be reduced.. So how does this game end?

      • cossackstomper

        Kurrunlla
        You really are a foolish person its from the act itself. As for your so called authority on this matter . I believe I have more than you working on commercial trawlers for years, Then on the fisheries research vessel for 7 years where all of this scientific research takes place. Believe me its not an exact science they wouldn’t have a a clue how many snapper are taken by recreational fishermen just as they wouldn’t have a clue how many juvenile fish are being killed by trawlers and dumped. The limit will not be changed you will be able to take your old wooden tub out from the panmure wharf full of islanders and catch fish

        • Kurrunulla

          It might be from the Act but it is not the Act. It is a particular spin on the Act and only some of it is accurate – the most important fact you did include relates to the discretion that might be exercised by the Minister but you failed to note the importance of his/her decisions needing to be based on best available information.

          I don’t have a tub other than the bath variety – I fish off the beach or I dive.

          You should not confuse your authority with your opinion and bias. I dont know what they did to you when you worked for the commercial sector and NIWA but your hurt sure is deep.

          The one aspect of your angry opinion that I am tending to agree with is that the limits wont change – the Minister will wimp out for political reasons. We can revisit this fishery again in the year after the next General Election.

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