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67% say the government should work on fisheries reform

1 Jul 20

67% say the government should work on fisheries reform
70% want fisheries reform, 67% say the government should work on it

An overwhelming majority of New Zealanders think New Zealand’s fisheries need to be reformed to ensure there is an abundant fishery.

  • 70% think reform is needed
  • 6% say the fisheries are fine as they are and do not need any reform
  • 24% say they’re really not sure. 

Around 2,229,700 adults think reform is needed, while around 195,100 think it is not.

The results are from a June 2019 survey by Horizon Research for the non-profit oranisation LegaSea, which, along with the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, has this year launched a Rescue Fish campaign to reform the quota management system. It involves an end to gifting fish quota to quota holders and instead introducing a tendering system for fishing permits. It also proposes independent setting of catch limits based on scientific research to ensure stocks become and remain abundant. Research and limits would be managed by an independent authority with Maori involved in governance.

LegaSea is campaigning to have the Government start a work programme on the reforms it proposes. The proposals are supported with an independent study by the New Zealand Institue of Economic Research which concludes further policy work is needed.

Support among parties voters:

In the June 2019 polling, just released, voters for the five parties now in parliament all strongly agree fisheries need reform:

  • Green voters 92%
  • NZ First 88%
  • Labour 80%
  • ACT 75% 
  • National 70% 

Government should work on reform:

Overall support for the Government doing further work to reform fisheries, to make sure they become abundant and commercial fishers pay a resource rental, overwhelms opposition:

  • 67% support this
  • 2% oppose, while
  • 16% neither support nor oppose and 
  • 16% are not sure. 

Around 2,127,300 adults support the Government doing more work, while around 57,600 do not.

Agreement with arguments for and against current system:

The research also tested New Zealanders' agreement with statements made about the fisheries management system and reform ideas:

Results for arguments made for the current Quota Management system:

Results for arguments opposing the curent management system:

The full report on this survey has been published by LegaSea.

For ther information, please contact

Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research, email gmcinman@horizonresearch.conz, telephone 021 076 2040.