Recreational fishers pushing National on election promises

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.

National’s Promises To Recreational Fishers Have Gone Nowhere

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.

Explaining the United Future position

Update: 120 new members signed up in 2 days.

From a post at by United Future board member Alan Simmons.

I don’t think people understand nor the media, and even if they did they don’t want to…

The electoral commission requires that the secretary signs that we have 500 verified members ..that they are eligible voters (not kids or visitors) that they be over 18, that they have paid a sub, that we have contacted them and verified their membership and to do that we have their phone number and email address.

They must have applied to be members (not affiliated by belonging to some other organisation ((union, marae, environmental organisations, ect)) )

So our secretary comes along and says to us board I’m not signing that declaration as I can go to jail and I don’t really know if last years members agree to being members this year.

What happens is political parties have a membership list in election year and accept those people are members for three years and then in election year they gather up a heap more.

When we started going though the list we find some have died, some were now overseas, some were pissed off with Peter over the gay vote and so it goes on.

You have to realise their even is some resentment about the emerging influence of the outdoors vote within the party. I can tell you we are now 70 or more percent of the party. I know one who resigned because of the anti 1080 position.

So we need to rebuild the party list so that our secretary could sign it with his hand on heart and if checked they wouldn’t find anything miss.

We have tried to be honest and upfront on this and I can imagine the other parties will come in for some scrutiny because of our honesty and you may see a lot more happen as time goes by.

If we had of signed off on the  lists we had, then imagine the news that we signed a false declaration.

We had no option as the declaration had to be in by end of April extended to May.  So we asked the electoral commission if we could deregister for a short period while we restructured…. and we then sent them a letter asking to be voluntarily deregistered.

I also am keen to remould the party and this was a good opportunity to do so.

The outdoors will end up stronger as a result of this move. remember the party had predominantly religious and all sorts of members from everywhere (united future was an amalgamation of christian, futurist and others) when the outdoors party merged with them….many of those have fled as they don’t like the outdoors influence and so on..That’s fine, they have gone to the conservatives and that has left us moving more towards a outdoors party.

It takes time to restructure and move from one predominant membership base to another and we just have to stay the journey.

If you can support us then do so …. at the moment I am in a strong position on the board as the outdoors position within the party strengthens.

I might add that hundreds have joined in the last two days from all over NZ and most have signaled that the outdoors is their main reason for joining… Its on the joining form now, so I know ….. Eventually I will be able to actually give a percentage of outdoors people within the party.

From my perspective if we have a clean strong membership list then we are so much ahead for next years election, as I believe any party relying on the last elections membership list is fooling themselves…

My opinion is the party that will re register soon, will be stronger, more focused regarding its members interests, and in a better position to communicate and engage with members.

– Alan Simmons, United Future board member

United Future definitely “not a one man band”

Leader Peter Dunne has made it clear to electorate candidates that UnitedFuture is “not a one man band” and that candidates are encouraged to speak openly for themselves and are free to express their own ideas and opinions about local electorate issues.

This is in contrast to strict message control in other parties, where either the leader speaks to everyone about little of substance, or canned party messages are promoted repeatedly.

The freedom to be individuals representing their own areas and interests makes UnitedFuture different, a party potpourri of passionate personalities.

Peter Dunne and Ohariu are well known but there are other Wellington candidates representing the captial region, and there are also  candidates covering Auckland and Christchurch.

Doug Stevens (Nelson) and Alan Simmons (Taupo) will be touring the country promoting strong outdoor policies with a special interest in hunting and fishing, and Clyde Graf (Coromandel) adds his strong advocacy for alternatives to poisoning the country with 1080.

Sultan Eusoff (Palmerston North)  is the Chief Executive of the Federation of the Islamic Association of New Zealand (FIANZ).  He has played an important role in building better understanding between the Muslim community and the various ethnic and religious communities in New Zealand and will promote this during the campaign.

Fighting against the tide of centralisation and Wellington domination are two strong regional representatives, Marty Gibson (East Coast) and Pete George (Dunedin North). They are promoting local solutions for local problems in their home cities and regions.

Pete George (blogger MP?) also has a wide presence in social media and will main strong blog connections to discuss political issues and guage a range of opinions.

There is still need for strong individual representation in New Zealand politics. UnitedFuture has a solid policy foundation but  provides the freedom for each candidate to be a strong advocate for what is important to them and their own electorates.

If media want an alternative to potted party palaver they will get real opinions from UnitedFuture candidates.

Pete George is UnitedFuture candidate for Dunedin North
“Authorised by Hon Peter Dunne MP, leader UnitedFuture NZ, Parliament Buildings”