The first chair of Te Ohu Kai Moana and Sealord and former New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has a long history with the country’s fisheries sector and Māori fisheries settlements - and he's angry.
He’s pointing the finger of blame directly at the “greenies” (Greenpeace) and controversial conservation group Sea Shepherd for the potential loss of millions of dollars for the industry, thanks to a US court's ban on imports of nine "endangered" fish species from New Zealand, ostensibly to protect the Māui Dolphin.
“[It’s] an act of economic treachery against hardworking New Zealanders."
He says it’s an issue that the government can’t dally around with.
“The government should rush to get on top of this. New Zealand isn’t America’s pet. New Zealand has its own power. Under the ruling we come under America.
“If this isn't sorted out quickly, another country will benefit.”
Jones is adamant that the country’s fish exports will go to China and even aligning with the US won’t mean it will listen to New Zealand. He says there is no substance to the allegations about the fish species.
“This issue goes back to the dolphin, in particular the so-called Māui dolphin, which is a branding by Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd that gained a court ruling to impact fishing communities around the country. We have many different types of dolphins in New Zealand.
“My advice is for our government not to allow Greenpeace and Sea Shepard to determine, through the courts, what we should do.”