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Fisheries Commission considering its options

Friday 1st August 2003

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The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission is considering a range of options as it prepares to establish Aotearoa Fisheries Limited.

"The Minister of Fisheries confirmed this week that allocation proposals outlined in He Kawai Amokura will remain largely unchanged as it begins the Parliamentary process," Commission Chairman Shane Jones said

"This has provided the Commission with confidence to progress the establishment phase of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and advance the planning phase for the future of the company," he said

"At this stage, no firm decisions have been made on the final direction that the Commission will move, but we have asked our subsidiary companies to begin planning for the creation of AFL," he said.

The companies owned by the Commission - Sealord Group, Moana Pacific Fisheries, Pacific Marine Farms, Chatham Processing and Prepared Foods Group - will undergo varying degrees of restructuring as the Commission moves to rationalise the commercial assets.

"Any rumours about proposed mergers or wholesale job losses are highly speculative and irresponsible. We will continue to discuss the various options with our subsidiary companies at this early stage", said Shane Jones. "Our aim is to increase shareholder value and ensure AFL is established as a strong business."

The creation of AFL is an integral part of the Commission's model for allocation of more than $700 million in fisheries assets and benefits. It was first proposed in August last year.

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