Seafood New Zealand welcomes the return of Hon Nathan Guy as Minister for Primary Industries.

Seafood chief executive, Tim Pankhurst, congratulated Minister Guy on his appointment which was announced by the Prime Minister this morning.

“We have developed a very good working relationship with Mr Guy and look forward to meeting him soon to update him on key industry issues and to progress existing initiatives,” says Mr Pankhurst.

Mr Pankhurst said Mr Guy has gained a good understanding of the seafood sector and the continuity of Minister was welcomed by the industry.

“His knowledge and direct experience in the primary sector has been helpful and we look forward to building on that experience as we work on creating more value and growth in our industry,” says Mr Pankhurst.

Mr Pankhurst said sustainable growth required a joint industry and government focus on gaining more value from existing fisheries through improved practices and innovation, reducing overall costs, and removing legislative barriers to growth.

“We also recognise the importance of retaining the goodwill of our communities, and having an operating environment that is at the forefront of international best practice as we build a premium for New Zealand seafood.

Mr Pankhurst also welcomed back Associate Minister, Hon Jo Goodhew.
Mr Pankhurst said seafood - paua, rock lobster, shellfish, farmed species like salmon and wild inshore and deepwater species - was a vital sector of the country’s primary production.

As New Zealand’s fifth largest export earner, the seafood industry contributes over NZ$1.5billion dollars in export earnings to the economy and employs around 9,000 people.