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Ministerial Inquiry into Foreign Charter Vessels

Government Decisions

The Ministerial Inquiry into the use and operation of foreign charter vessels fishing in New Zealand waters has concluded (February 2012).

PDF Icon. Download Report of the Ministerial Inquiry into the use and operation of foreign charter vessels (PDF 1.59MB)

PDF Icon. Download the Ministerial Inquiry Recommendations (PDF 28KB)

PDF Icon. Download FCV Frequently Asked Questions February 2012 (PDF 115KB)

The Government has considered the Inquiry Recommendations and announced its decisions (in two parts, March and May 2012).

First Ministerial release (beehive.govt.nz website)
Second Ministerial release (beehive.govt.nz website)
Q&As Recommendations 7 to 15, May 2012

Cabinet considered a Paper that provided cross-agency advice on options to address Recommendations 7 to 15 of the Ministerial Inquiry report, including reflagging, after it was considered by the Cabinet Business Committee (see Minute), in May.

Cabinet Paper
Cabinet Business Committee Minute, May 2012

Parts of the paper have been withheld under the following sections of the Official Information Act 1982: 

  • Section 6A – [because it would] prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or the international relations of the Government of New Zealand;
  • Section 6(b)(i) – [because it would] prejudice the entrusting of information to the Government of New Zealand on a basis of confidence by the Government of any other country or any agency of such a Government;
  • Section 9(2)(h) – maintain legal professional privilege;
  • Section 9(2)(b)(ii) – protect information that would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information;
  • Section 9(2)(g)(i) – maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty.

Following the Ministerial inquiry, briefings were supplied to the Minister for Primary Industries by the Ministry for Primary Industries. 

  PDF Icon. Further decisions in response to the Ministerial Inquiry into the use of Foreign Charter Vessels, 10 July 2012
  
  PDF Icon. Briefing on the management of Foreign Charter Vessels in New Zealand, 4 February 2013   

  PDF Icon. Update on implementation of management measures for Foreign Charter Vessels, 12 February 2013  

Parts of the briefings have been withheld under the following sections of the Official Information Act 1982:

  • Section 6(a) - prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or the international relations of the Government of New Zealand
  • Section 9(2)(b)(ii) - would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information
  • Section 9(2)(g)(i) – to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty.  

The Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Bill was tabled in October 2012 and passed its first reading in February 2013.

Ministerial release (beehive.govt.nz website)

PDF Icon.   Q and A: Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Bill  (PDF 89 kb)

The Inquiry

The principal objective of the Inquiry is to ensure that the operation of foreign owned and flagged vessels chartered by New Zealand fishing companies supports the following government objectives:

  1. To protect New Zealand's international reputation and trade access.
  2. To maximise the economic return to New Zealand from our fisheries resources.
  3. To ensure acceptable and equitable New Zealand labour standards (including safe working environments) on all fishing vessels operating in New Zealand's fisheries waters within the Exclusive Economic Zone.

If it is demonstrated that these objectives are being undermined by current practices then the Inquiry is tasked with making recommendations relating to policy and legislative amendments and improvements to operational practices.

PDF Icon. Download the Terms of Reference (PDF 83KB)

PDF Icon. Download Background paper for FCV consultation (PDF 129KB)

PDF Icon. Download Code of Practice on Foreign Fishing Crew (PDF 102KB - from Immigration website)

Safe Ship Management System - Maritime NZ website

Consultation Process

The Panel is seeking input from a wide range of sources, including through a public submission and hearings process. Submissions closed on 7 October and public hearings are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

The full schedule of public hearings, and copies of submissions, are available below.

PDF Icon. Download schedule of public hearings – updated 19 Oct 2011 (PDF 264KB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Contents Page (PDF 52KB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 1 (PDF 3.35MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 2 (PDF 2.97MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 3 (PDF 5.21MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 4 (PDF 1.90MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 5 (PDF 4.62MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 6 (PDF 3.40MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 7 (PDF 6.21MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 8 (PDF 5.80MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 9 (PDF 1.09MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 10 (PDF 165KB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 11 (PDF 5.42MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 12 (PDF 5.70MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 13 (PDF 1.34MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 14 (PDF 1.97MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 15a (PDF 7.24MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 15b (PDF 5.35MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 15c (PDF 7.42MB).

PDF Icon. Download the Submissions Volume 16 (PDF 502KB).

Ministerial Inquiry Panel Members

The three-member FCV Ministerial Inquiry Panel is chaired by the Paul Swain and includes Sarah McGrath and Neil Walter.

Paul Swain: Paul Swain was a Cabinet Minister from 1999 to 2005, holding a range of portfolios including Labour and Immigration. He has his own consulting business, is a Director of India Horizonz Ltd and is a Wellington Regional Councillor.

Sarah McGrath: Sarah McGrath is a Director at KPMG and leads the Transaction Services practice in Wellington. Sarah led the KPMG team that analysed the cost of managing New Zealand's deepwater fisheries resource for the public sector.

Neil Walter: Neil Walter is a former diplomat whose assignments included Administrator of Tokelau, Ambassador to Japan and Ambassador to Indonesia. He was Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1999 to 2002 and chaired the Environmental Risk Management Authority from 2003 to 2008. He is currently Chair of the Broadcasting Commission.

Updated : 26 February 2014