News Release

Clayton Mitchell, New Zealand First Party

25. July 2015

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A recreational scallop diver killed today by a Great White Shark in Tasmania highlights the risk commercial divers face in Stewart Island and the callous disregard shown by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry, to Stewart Islanders who want cage diving stopped.

“The Minister ignored the wishes of 768 New Zealanders who signed a petition I delivered a few weeks ago and who want cage diving stopped,” says Spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations Clayton Mitchell.

“They flocked to meetings with the Rt Hon Winston Peters and my colleague Fletcher Tabuteau to tell us so.  It is telling Minister Barry is too gutless to go and speak to locals in person since they’re the ones who have to live alongside this apex predator.

“And now Department of Conservation undercover monitoring has uncovered permit breaches but there are no consequences.

“As a Minister, Mrs Barry has trivialised the risk to sharks, commercial divers and recreational users alike.  Today’s tragic death in Tasmania will heighten the real and present danger Stewart Islanders face, especially after Nick Fanning’s attack in South Africa.

“The time has come to pull the plug before someone ends up being killed,” Mr Mitchell said.

Source: NZ First Party