Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 3/4/24

NZ Govt welcomes the lifting of an injunction (to protect the Maui dolphin) which banned some fish imports into the USA

The lifting of a temporary ban on some New Zealand fish exports to the United States was hailed by two New Zealand ministers as a win for commonsense.

Sea Shepherd spokesperson Michael Lawry, on the other hand, told RNZ “politics and power” had won over science.

The United States’ Court of International Trade triggered the contrasting responses when it lifted a preliminary injunction that temporarily stopped trade for nine fish species, including popular species like snapper, caught in the Māui dolphin habitat along the West Coast of the North Island.

The preliminary injunction had been granted in a case brought by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in May 2020 against the US Government which alleged New Zealand’s measures to protect Māui dolphins from fishing threats did not meet US standards for imported seafood products.

Trade Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones registered their delight in a statement headed United States lifts ban on New Zealand fish exports.

It sits on the government’s official website alongside news that ….

The teachers will be moved from the Green List Work to Residence pathway to the Straight to Residence pathway.

Immigration Minister Erica Standford said the change is aimed at helping address workforce shortages.

Shortages in secondary teachers, especially those in specific regions and subject skills such as Science, Technology, and Mathematics, have been an ongoing challenge for the New Zealand education workforce, Standford said.

Betcha she was keen to communicate the decision to the Minister of Education, whose name escapes us momentarily…

This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the arrival in New Zealand of Polish refugee children and their carers during World War II, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted to background his talks in Warsaw with Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.

This is the first visit in a decade by a New Zealand Foreign Minister to Poland and a return for Peters who visited Warsaw as Foreign Minister in 2006.

Sikorski was presented with newly released files from Archives New Zealand which will help researchers and historians in both countries continue to tell the story of the refugees for a new generation, Peers said.

The two Ministers also discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, exchanged views on current security challenges in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific, as well as opportunities for economic cooperation.

“It is important to be here on NATO’s Eastern flank to learn more about the security challenges facing Europe as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine – especially ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Brussels later this week,” Peters said.

Latest from the Beehive

3 APRIL 2024

Secondary teachers moving to New Zealand will be put on a fast track to residency to help address workforce shortages, Immigration and Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today.

A temporary ban on some New Zealand fish exports to the United States has been lifted in a win for commonsense, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay say.

Polish refugees arriving in New Zealand during World War II and the extreme human impacts of the war in Ukraine were themes of Foreign Minister Winston Peters’ visit to Warsaw today.

The preliminary injunction that has been lifted in the USA had temporarily stopped trade for nine fish species, Shane Jones said.

The ban had cost New Zealand around $2 million in exports.

Todd McClay explained that lifting the ban means seafood exporters will no longer have to provide a certificate of origin when sending seafood products to the United States

The decision to remove the injunction followed an assessment, undertaken by the US Government at the New Zealand Government’s request, which showed protections for Māui dolphins were comparable with, met and even exceeded, the US standards under its Marine Mammal Protection Act.

“It’s the second assessment of this kind on our Māui dolphin protections, and both have shown our measures are as good as those of the United States,” Mr Jones says.

“New Zealand has worked hard to help protect Māui dolphins from fishing-related risks and this decision reaffirms we have good protections in place. Our protections for Māui dolphins include introducing onboard cameras and banning set nets and trawl fishing within core Māui dolphin habitat along the North Island’s west coast,” Mr Jones says.

Vessels operating in this area have been required to operate cameras or carry an observer since 2019 and we’ve had no observed captures of Māui dolphins during this time.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

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