A new fisheries-dedicated unit has been announced by the Government.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) functions are being reset, with four new portfolio-based entities announced, including Fisheries New Zealand, Forestry New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand and New Zealand Food Safety.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said the change would improve the management of a valued resource.

“The reorganisation provides clearer lines of accountability for fisheries management decisions,” Nash said.

“It means that, as Minister, I can have confidence in the way fisheries officials carry out government policy. It means that the many individuals, agencies, iwi and businesses with a stake in fisheries have a clear picture of accountability within the sector.”

Fisheries Inshore chief executive Dr Jeremy Helson said an organisation devoted to fisheries was welcomed by the sector.

“Cohesive and collaborative management of fisheries has fallen by the wayside in previous years and the changes announced indicate the new Government is ready to take the lead in improving those processes,” Helson said.

“MPI is currently undertaking important work in cost recovery and digital monitoring, and having Fisheries New Zealand will ensure that the programmes succeed.

“The announcement of a primary sector council to be created by mid-2018 will also allow the seafood industry to assist the new look MPI with strategic planning.”

The new organisations will be set up in early 2018 and will be operating by April. Implementation costs are expected to reach $6.8 million, with money to be reprioritised from the Primary Growth Partnership Fund.