30 October 2002
Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson says he is comfortable with the Primary Production Committee's decision in principle to inquire into the scampi fishery.
"The allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Fisheries have been examined by the Serious Fraud Office and an independent barrister appointed by the Solicitor-General, both of which found they did not merit further investigation. The ministry's current officials continue to have my confidence, but there may be merit in further inquiries into the administration of the scampi fishery during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"In June I made a decision in principle to bring scampi into the Quota Management System next year. I have deliberately refrained from gazetting that decision while the Solicitor-General's inquiry has been under way. When I have returned to New Zealand and the select committee has determined the terms of reference for its inquiry I will decide whether gazettal of that decision should be delayed any further."
Mr Hodgson is in New Delhi for international negotiations on climate change. He returns to New Zealand on Sunday.
Contact: Graeme Speden, press secretary, 04 471 9707 / 021 270 9055 email@example.com