Foreword from the Minister of Fisheries
New Zealand has vibrant and efficient fishing and aquaculture sectors, supports the gathering of kaimoana for customary fishers and provides a high quality fishing experience for amateur fishers. To enable us to maintain and build on our world class fisheries management and obtain the best value from these resources, we need to enhance the health of our fish stocks and the marine environment in which they live.
New Zealand, along with the rest of the world, currently faces very difficult economic conditions. Today, we are responding to those conditions and will seek to grow the New Zealand economy to deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunities for all New Zealanders. It is important we demonstrate fiscal constraint, which is necessary and appropriate in the current economic circumstances. Now more than ever, we must reflect on our activities and services to ensure we are providing value for money in all that we do. We need to consider the range of tools that will most effectively and efficiently achieve our key deliverables.
Improving the efficiency of service delivery from the Ministry of Fisheries will improve the experience of commercial, customary and amateur fishers, and marine farmers, and at the same time help to reduce the fisheries management costs to industry, and the taxpayer. We also need to find ways to most effectively deliver our fisheries obligations to Māori. Legislative reform may be required to support further improvements in performance of the sector over time. Certainly, in the immediate future, reform to accelerate development of aquaculture is required, to both increase export revenues and provide domestic jobs.
Fundamental to ensuring the health of our fish stocks is to understand the state of those stocks; we need therefore to focus on and improve our stock assessment research. We have to protect our stocks from illegal activities by augmenting frontline compliance efforts. It is also important we enhance our understanding of amateur catch levels to measure their needs.
Engagement with stakeholders is essential, but it should be refocused to ensure that constructive results are achieved. We need clarity of direction and purpose across stakeholder groups, and I look forward to the development and confirmation of Fisheries 2030, a long-term vision and strategic direction for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
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
Responsible Minister for the Ministry of Fisheries