- what process?
In July 2000
we saw the "Soundings" document released with public consultation
being wound up at Christmas 2000. The Joint Working Group delivered
its findings in March 2001. The Minister assembled a Ministerial
Consultative Group to offer him feedback on draft Ministry Policy
Proposals. Minister Pete Hodgson has reminded us on more than one
occasion of the need for good process. Good process generates good
outcomes. Whilst we believe the Minister is determined to oversee
good process we do not have the same confidence in the Ministry
of Fisheries belief for good process.
is a summary of 2002. Our score for their "process" this
year is a resounding 0/10 - you make up your own minds.
2001 - The Minister of Fisheries delivered his Cabinet Paper
"Recreational Fisheries Reform" to his Parliamentary colleagues
on the Cabinet Finance, Infrastructure and Environment Committee.
minutes of that Cabinet committee's decision (FIN Min (01) 2814)
outline the following directives:-
" note that the Minister of Fisheries has requested that the
Ministry of Fisheries work closely with the recreational sector
to develop a specific proposal for reform
.invited the Minister
of Fisheries to report to the Cabinet Finance, Infrastructure and
Environment Committee (FIN) on the outcome of further analysis and
a recommended option for public consultation no later than 1
agreed that the Minister of Fisheries report back to FIN with the
outcome of public - consultation no later than 1 June 2003."
Cabinet Paper is the driver of the process. Nothing else. Read on
to see how the Ministry of Fisheries has, yet again, failed to deliver
on process, never mind public good.
2001 - The Ministry of Fisheries issue their draft Consultation
Plan for Recreational Fishing Reform 2002/2003. http://option4.co.nz/letter38.htm
This outlined the need to work closely and immediately in order
to meet the deadlines imposed by Cabinet. It also invited feedback,
which was duly provided by a number of representative organisations
including option4. This paper indicated 7 months for work with public
sector representatives and 6 months work time to prepare the Cabinet
2002 - The Ministry of Fisheries issue their paper "Recreational
Fishing Reform: Action Plan 2002-03" - this acknowledges the
input from representative groups and goes on to outline a process
for the development of the "single option for reform"
This is a must read document.
2002 - option4 write to the Minister expressing concerns about
the Cabinet Paper that is the basis of Cabinet Decisions driving
the current process (or non process as the case may be). Still no
word from Ministry of first seminar or background paper as promised.
2002 - The Minister responds to concerns option4 had expressed
about the cabinet paper. http://option4.co.nz/cabinetresponse0204.htm
He refuses to discuss any of the concerns raised. He is not
available to meet. He does however state "The Ministry is going
to prepare a public discussion document with some recommended changes
to the management regime and all stakeholders will get the opportunity
to comment on it before I make my decisions. Until this time the
focus is on ensuring that everyone is up to speed to contribute
to an informed public debate" . Still nothing heard from
2002 - option4 writes to the Minister http://option4.co.nz/letter39.htm
expressing concern that the process has stalled - nothing
2002 - Pete Hodgson responds http://option4.co.nz/letter41.htm
He wrote "With regard to the Action Plan developed by the
Ministry of Fisheries earlier this year, officials inform me that
the occasional papers are close to being finalised and will be externally
reviewed prior to being circulated to interested parties within
the next few weeks. I am hopeful that those papers will provide
a useful background context from which to discuss the options for
moving forward." Still nothing heard from the Ministry.
2002 - option4 representatives receive phone calls from a man
at the Ministry of Fisheries who states that he has been contracted
by the Ministry to fulfill the requirements of the 2001 Cabinet
Paper , i.e. present the required Cabinet Paper with the "single
option for reform" - on time - (on time equals 1st February
2003) When asked how this objective could be achieved given the
process and time line outlined in the "Action Plan" tabled
in January, the man from the Ministry claimed that he was unaware
such a document had been issued. This conversation occurred on 11/10/02.
How bizarre - a graphic illustration of how irrelevant we, the public,
are in the minds eye of the Ministry. The conversation concluded
with a confirmation of the firm intentions of the Ministry to deliver
their paper on time. There were questions as to whether or not
any further consultation was in fact required before tabling the
cabinet paper to the Minister.
here we are in November 2002 - not a written word from the
Ministry to explain delays, no sign of any "Occasional Papers"
or seminar invitation. Simply put, a complete lack of performance
and zero professionalism for some 9 months out of a scheduled process
timeline of 13 months. This is typical of the attitude and manner
of this Ministry. They say the Minister has them doing other work
- the Minister tells us papers were to be released within weeks
- some 5 months ago. Who are we to believe?
Are we to see
"a single option for reform" tabled to Cabinet with no
opportunity to have input? Is this a process you feel comfortable
with? The Soundings public consultation process was farcical - the
analysis of response from the public was farcical. Nothing has changed
other than a few spanners in the works of what is obviously a very
predetermined plan by the Ministry to strip us of our rights to
catch our fish and see that every available, unaccounted for fish
is made available to the fishing industry. This is simply not good
enough. These people have to wake up and accept that they are public
servants being paid to serve the public of this country. This Ministry
have long ago lost sight of this fundamental. It is high time they
were dragged into line and made accountable for the series of failed
fisheries, failed processes and embarrassed Ministers they have
left in their wake.
Pete Hodgson, has just issued a written invitation to six people
to attend his office on the 16th December to discuss the process
(or lack thereof) with him and his officials. This meeting will
be critical - we don't have much detail to share with you at this
stage. Hopefully, there will be a good minute kept of this meeting.
the team at option4