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Govt wants to ban Kiwi pastime of whitebaiting

Opinion Piece

The popular pastime of whitebaiting on the East Coast is at risk of being banned if the Minister of Conservation gets her way.

National are concerned that the Minister of Conservation’s ideological views are clouding her judgement again, and that she is attempting to sneakily ban whitebaiting in New Zealand.

Her Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill’s transitional clauses mean that after a year whitebaiting will be prohibited, unless there is specific authorisation to do otherwise.

National will not support the bill through its second reading because we support the whitebaiting community, and do not want to see this traditional Kiwi pastime outlawed.

Our Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie has started a petition to save New Zealand’s whitebaiting industry (www.sarahdowie.national.org.nz/stop_the_whitebaiting_ban).

Whitebaiting is a tradition for many New Zealanders. It puts food on the table, creates livelihoods and is a recreational pastime. Sign our petition and have your voice heard.

Anne Tolley

East Coast MP