National has suffered from the wrath of recreational fishers in the not too distant past but seem to have learned nothing from that.
UnitedFuture has warned National of grumpiness amongst recreational fishers due to a lack of progress on promised recreational reserves – and there’s signs of a willingness for action beyond Peter Dunne.
UnitedFuture leader Hon Peter Dunne says the government’s promised recreational fishing reserves have gone nowhere since the election.
“One week before last year’s election National announced they would release a discussion paper in November that would consider converting the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds into recreational fishing zones.
“6 months on from November is absolutely nothing to be seen.
Alan Simmons, UnitedFuture outdoors spokesperson, says recreational anglers are angry that the promised conversation on recreational fishing has never eventuated.
“Commercial fishing interests have made it very clear that they strongly oppose any changes to give recreational fishing greater rights.
“It seems clear that yet again National are listening to their big business mates instead of ordinary New Zealanders” said Mr Simmons.
“The National Party needs to stop bending to the will of commercial interests and honour the promises it made to the recreational fishers of New Zealand during last year’s election campaign” said Mr Dunne.
Simmons, who is prominent in fishing and hunting circles, seems intent on upping the pressure on National. He has posted on Facebook:
In my opinion National were quite dishonest with this promise which was aimed at capturing any recreational fishing votes that were heading to United Future or NZ First. They made the same promise the election before and made no attempt to bring it in.
I am not sure I want to be propping up a government which is going to do the dirty again on a recreational fishing and is so dishonest with its election promises…
Our Supply agreement with them is a case in point, if we are going to get no benefits then why are we in it… I’m seriously questioning our role in propping up this government if there is no win for our major policy ideas.
United Futures Agreement with National clearly states that National will progress with UF “giving recreational fishers more opportunities as acknowledged in Nationals recently released recreational fishing reserves”. So I am asking where is that policy and if its not forth coming then we should withdraw from the agreement as they have not met the terms agreed.
United Future have been criticised in the past for not rocking the Government boat – and for being a patsy party.
There’s been some signs this term that Dunne is more prepared to make a stand against Government policies, notably their RMA reforms, and he is also vocal on the intelligence and security review that gets under way this year.
The party has been far less visible, except when de-registered by the Electoral Commission two years ago. That prompted a surge in membership, with hunters and fishers in particular wanting to help a party advocating for their interests to survive.
Perhaps it’s time for United Future to reward that vote of faith with some action.
And perhaps it’s time for National to front up with action on their promises to recreational fishers – if they want to keep onside with their constituency outside Auckland and Wellington.