Findings of Ministerial Inquiry: Out but not about!

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The results of joint ministerial report on foreign chartered fishing vessels (FCVs) in New Zealand waters that I discussed below in the entry last week entitled ‘Slavery and New Zealand in the same sentence… Surely not?’ has been presented to the Government. However its contents will be kept secret until decisions are made in relation to the operation of FCVs in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson have publically acknowledged receipt of the Ministerial Inquiry Panel’s report on FCV

The foregoing of public disclosure of the content of the report has lead to loads of speculation from some groups of human rights advocates.  For example human rights Lawyer Craig Tuck submits that the silence speaks to FCVs breaking the law and holding crews in inhumane conditions. However, it is also just as likely that the converse is true. The findings of the Ministerial Inquiry Panel could prove to be inconsistent with human rights activist assertions.

Given the levels of emotion in the New Zealand Seafood, Trade and Labour Rights Sectors lately – the deferment of  the release of the Panel’s findings is arguably the best course in the interim.

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