FOREWORD FROM THE MINISTER OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE
New Zealand’s fisheries are an important natural resource that contribute billions to our economy every year, provide kaimoana to customary fishers and provide world-class fishing opportunities for amateur fishers. New Zealand’s fisheries management is internationally recognised as being world class but there are new and ongoing challenges that must be met to ensure we have healthy fisheries into the future.
The good health of our fish stocks, and the aquatic environment of which they are a part, are critical to maximising the benefits from the use of our fisheries over the long term. Protecting our aquatic environment by setting environmental standards and fostering good fishing practices results in sustainable fisheries and increases that recognition in overseas markets.
Recent years have seen a difficult economic climate that has had a marked impact on New Zealand households and businesses. This reinforces the importance of growing the New Zealand economy so that we can all enjoy greater prosperity, security and opportunity.
A major focus as Minister is on reducing costs to the fishing industry and working with the industry to support further development of the resources we have to maximise the benefits all New Zealanders receive from the use of our fisheries resources. Collaboration with industry on improving the services we provide, through projects such as reviewing research services, contributes to achieving greater efficiency.
We are focused on improving our understanding of amateur catch levels to provide more robust information for management decisions. We are also continuing to increase the frontline Fishery Officer and Honorary Fishery Officer capacity over the next two years.
Cabinet’s endorsement of Fisheries 2030, which sets out Government’s goal and desired outcomes for the sector, and the related five-year plan of action, provides clear direction and gives certainty to stakeholders about the Government’s priorities.
Aquaculture has significant potential for sustainable growth. The Government is committed to helping unlock this potential and supporting the industry in achieving its goal of becoming a $1 billion a year industry by 2025. The completion of the aquaculture reforms will increase the contribution aquaculture can make to New Zealand’s economy through a more coordinated and efficient process to aquaculture planning and development.
Honouring the Crown’s fisheries obligations to Māori continues to be a priority and includes supporting iwi in the management of fisheries. We will continue to strengthen our ability to deliver on our fisheries settlement obligations and complete aquaculture settlements.
Fish stocks, especially tuna and billfish, are critical natural resources for Pacific Island countries. The Ministry is increasing its engagement and cooperation with Pacific Island countries as part of a wider Government initiative to maximise the economic and developmental benefits to Pacific Island countries and New Zealand. The sustainable management of the Pacific’s fisheries will play an important role and bring lasting benefits to the people of the Pacific.
We have made great progress over the past year and I look forward to our continuing achievements in 2010.
Ministerial Statement of Responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on future operating intentions provided by my department in this Statement of Intent is in accordance with sections 38, 40 and 41 of the Public Finance Act 1989 and is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the Government.
Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture