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Confirmation today that New Zealand First has rolled-over to allow the rollout of digital monitoring technology on commercial fishing boats is welcome and vindicates the work of the previous National Government, Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie and Fisheries spokesperson Ian McKelvie say.

“It’s good to see that after seven months of delays and stagnation, the Ardern-Peters Government has finally started to address the so-called technical and administrative issues they claimed surrounded electronic monitoring on commercial fishing vessels,” Ms Dowie says.

“However I am deeply disappointed that the Coalition continues to delay making a decision on extending this monitoring to include cameras. That’s despite all the evidence – and support from the Department of Conservation - that cameras will make a difference in protecting our marine mammals.

“This proves that Eugenie Sage has no influence on Stuart Nash and remains voiceless among her Coalition colleagues,” Ms Dowie says.

Mr McKelvie says today’s progress vindicates the earlier work of the previous National Government.

“Given the earlier protestations from New Zealand First, it’s wonderful to see how compliant they have become since the announcement Labour would give them $1 billion to spend on foreign aid.

“However, there must still be some infighting around the Cabinet table as the Coalition still doesn’t seem to have formed a view on whether that monitoring should include cameras.

“If rolled-out fully as we intended, digital monitoring will help revolutionise the way New Zealand’s commercial fisheries are managed and monitored and will help protect their sustainability,” he says.

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