The Government pulled plans to put major restrictions on deep sea trawling after the fishing industry threatened legal action.
Officials and scientists from New Zealand and Australia had been working on the joint proposal since 2012 and it was finally due to go in front of an inter-governmental body in Peru in late January.
It was designed to protect the stocks of orange roughy in the high seas and prevent the destruction of delicate seabed life like coral and sponges.
But just weeks before the meeting, the High Seas Fisheries lobby group – which includes Talleys and Sealord – wrote to the Government threatening legal action.
Deepwater Group, a second lobby group which included Sanford, also demanded an urgent meeting. Their lawyer Bruce Scott followed up with a personal phone-call to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ office.
Within weeks, the proposal – to be voted on by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation – was abruptly withdrawn from the agenda. The move raised eyebrows among diplomats from other countries because the joint NZ-Australia proposal was already two years late.
NZ First donors will again be very pleased with the return on their investment.
Whenever an issues comes up which involves a choice between the environment and donors to NZ First, the Government goes for placating the donors to NZ First.
If this was happening in a National-led Government, the Greens would be calling it corruption and condemning the Government as environmental vandals.
Instead though not a peep, as the Greens also need Winston happy to retain their baubles.