NZ Outdoors Party Fishery Policy

20th April 2020

Our Vision: We want to create a country where we are admired by the world not just because of our wonderful natural environment, but because of the way we live. A way of life that protects and enhances that environment.

Let’s put the fish back into fishing so all New Zealanders can enjoy our Great Outdoors heritage of catching and eating fish.

We will instigate a new fishery management system that protects and enhances fisheries resources for the people of New Zealand. This will provide greater recreational and customary access to inshore fisheries and encourage offshore fisheries to be utilised to benefit New Zealanders.

What are the goals of the Outdoors Party Fishery Policy?

The fisheries Quota Management System (QMS) is about resource sustainability and economic efficiency. However the way this is currently implemented has severely depleted the biomas of many species and has resulted in loss of access to recreational and customary fishers. The NZ Outdoors Party supports LegaSea, its ideas and advocacy for greater abundance.

What will the NZ Outdoors Party do to improve fishery management?

We have studied the “Rescue Fish” document of Legasea and we can’t fault it. We fully support the Rescue Fish approach to put fish back into fishing. The can be read here ( this is a large file so will download as a PDF file).

What will the NZ Outdoors Party do for recreational anglers?

We believe the fish belong to the people of NZ and fishing for a meal and for recreation is an important part of the culture of New Zealand. We will allocate a greater share of the fishery to recreational anglers and the Rescue Fish Strategy will mean more fish in the ocean for them to catch.

What are the principals of fishery management?

Any successful fisheries management regime must the support and respect of the citizens and be based on strong principles. The set of principles LegaSea has adopted in it’s Rescue Fisheries Strategy are:

  1. All fisheries laws will conform with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  2. The living marine resources of Aotearoa New Zealand are owned by the people of New Zealand and must be managed by the government for the benefit of the people of New Zealand. These resources cannot become the private property of corporations or by sold to overseas interests.
  3. All fisheries must be biologically, economically, and socially sustainable. The legislation will prevent private sales of licences or fishing rights.
  4. To the greatest extent possible, commercial fishing rights will be granted in line with the principles of a market-based system. Commercial fishing permits will be tendered.
  5. Catches must be landed in New Zealand and processed here for added value.
  6. Only New Zealand owned and registered companies, or private New Zealand citizens, paying taxes in New Zealand and complying with all relevant employment and maritime law will be able to participate in New Zealand’s commercial fisheries.
  7. In the Territorial Sea there will be complete fleet separation. That is, only vessel owners will be eligible to own and operate a permit. There is no vertical integration permitted.

What is wrong with the current Quota management System?

The NZ Outdoors Party agrees with Legasea that the QMS is systemically flawed and is not fit for purpose. New Zealand government has ignored a series of warning signs over the last two decades about fish depletion and aggregation of quota rights in the hands of a few which have serially excluded access for local fishers.

How well has the QMS done in sustaining fish stocks?

The quota management system has failed fisheries in many ways including:

Failure to use international best practice and maintain stocks at 50% or above of the unfished biomass.

Lack of precautionary principle. When information is unavailable or unreliable the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) need to be set at low levels.

Failure to rebuild fish stocks once identified as being below the management targets.

Failure to control dumping and high grading.

Failure to undertake stock monitoring and assessment to provide timely and reliable stock status reports of a standard that would provide reliable yield estimates.

What has the current system done to benefit local fishers?

The current Quota Management System has privatised the once public fishery and remove it from the public’s ownership to allow private control over what was a public resource.

Who currently control fisheries in NZ?

A few large Corporations control fisheries policy and access. Their profit from the public resource gives them the ability to make excessive political donations, giving these corporations disproportionate control over our fisheries.

What about smaller regional commercial fishing?

The NZ Outdoors Party will encourage the reestablishment of small local commercial fishing to supply local people with fresh high quality fish.

What have been the Social Impacts?

The current Quota Management system has concentrated the right to fish in the hands of few and that has removed the local regional commercial fisherman from the market. The price of fish has escalated so it is not affordable for New Zealanders.

We encourage local people to manage local fisheries and local wharf sales of fish by community fishers.

Customary fishers, and recreational fishers, all need an abundant and productive inshore fisheries resource.

What will the NZ Outdoors Party do about the Maori Fishing rights?


Māori and the Crown will have shared governance of this new authority.
Recreational anglers and customary  entitlements will have a statutory right to the fishery.

Under your plan will commercial fishing have strict monitoring?


Yes electronic monitoring, cameras, audits and observers.


Can I read all the documents in your fishery policy?


Yes they are these links. These links are down at the moment due to a launch of policy documents to Government.

Status quo is untenable.

Opportunities for Maori.

The Rescue Fish Document can be read here ( this is a large file so will download as a PDF file)

Copyright and credits.

This policy, F&Q and collection of notes are copyright NZ Outdoors Party April 2020

Policy team. Alan Simmons (team leader), Wilf Bearman-Riedel, Scott Macindoe (Legasea), Brad Fluety, Sue Grey, David Haynes.

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Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons

President & Co-Leader Alan has dedicated a lifetime of involvement in outdoors political issues. He’s sat on a number of national body executives, boards, NGO and management groups, including the NZ Professional Hunting Guides Association, Electricorp Environmental Management Board, NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers and the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association. Many will know him through his website, the hugely popular New Zealand FishnHunt forum.

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