Employment Equity – MindTheGap Applauds Crickets Landmark pay decision

Source: MindTheGap

The MindTheGap campaign is applauding New Zealand Cricket for its decision to award equal pay to men and women players.

New Zealand Cricket has closed the pay equity gap for women’s cricketers, with both men and women receiving the same pay for the same work, on the same day.

In a landmark decision, new men’s and women’s combined agreements will see the White Ferns and domestic women’s players receiving the same match fees as the men across all formats and competitions.

MindTheGap co-founder Dellwyn Stuart says the decision is a good example of righting historic wrongs.

“While it is hard to believe we are still paying women less than men in parts of New Zealand, it is great to see this has been not only recognised as wrong but action has been taken to fix the unfairness.”

‘Sadly, when some women and ethnic groups are earning as much as one-third less than their male, pakeha counterparts, there is still much more to be done.

MindTheGap has joined with forty unions and charities to get the government to urgently change legislation to address New Zealand’s gender and ethnic pay gaps immediately and help reduce poverty.  

In an open letter to the Government, the group says “Many women and people in our Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic communities earn much less than they would if they were a Pākehā man. That’s not fair. It’s not the Kiwi way. The playing field is tilted against too many,”

MindTheGap is asking New Zealanders to sign a petition to call for urgent action on the issue https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/close-the-gender-and-ethnic-pay-gaps-make-pay-gap-reporting-mandatory-for-businesses-in-new-zealand

The campaign wants the Government to work with businesses to agree on a standardised approach to reporting and introduce pay gap reporting legislation with urgency.   Mandatory reporting is already in place for the New Zealand public service.

Health Tech – Innovative MRI team revolutionize animal healthcare

Source: Pacific Radiology

Pacific Radiology’s innovative MRI team revolutionize animal healthcare
The doors to New Zealand’s first dedicated animal MRI clinic opened this week in Christchurch, Canterbury.
Pacific Radiology have applied their industry leading expertise to revolutionise animal healthcare in New Zealand – opening the first animal MRI clinic dedicated solely to the health and well-being of our furry friends.
With over 65% of New Zealand household having pets – this clinic will be servicing one of the most ‘pet-friendly’ nations on the planet. However, when it comes to healthcare the industry has historically faced long waiting lists for lower quality diagnostic equipment – resulting in delays in treatment, misdiagnosis, and ineffective treatment plans – and it is exactly these issues this new clinic aims to tackle.
Pacific Radiology’s Canterbury Regional Manager, Adrianne Hayes notes that the new Canterbury animal MRI clinic is an exciting addition to their commitment in providing local communities access to leading edge imaging and diagnostic services.
” We have always been committed to delivering world class-radiology within our communities – and I couldn’t be more excited to extend that commitment to include New Zealand’s first and only animal dedicated MRI clinic”, says Adrianne Hayes.
Located in Hoon Hay, Christchurch; this new animal dedicated MRI clinic is the brainchild of Pacific Radiology’s MRI Project Lead Gareth Leeper and the result of a successful working collaborative partnership formed with the progressive family run McMaster & Heap Veterinarian Practice.
“We are incredibly excited to offer animal healthcare providers and pet owners nationwide unprecedented access to world leading diagnostic tools. Our hope is that our partnership with McMaster & Heap will enable veterinarians nationwide to deliver faster, more effective treatment than ever before”, says Gareth Leeper.
The technology housed in this new clinic is the exact same as that currently used to treat human patients in Pacific Radiology’s award-winning MRI clinics across New Zealand. Providing accurate, high-resolution images of our pets’ brain, spine, limbs and joints – and giving veterinarians the opportunity to make more informed decisions on preventative care and treatment plans.
The wide bore MRI technology enables the team to work with all kinds of animals from household pets and farm animals, through to some of the larger animals in our zoos such as tigers. With the experienced team having already come face to face with native birds, sheep, and tigers; offering a safe and non-invasive means to accurately diagnose numerous health conditions and plan effective surgical remedies.
Michelle McMaster, Veterinarian at McMaster & Heap Veterinarian Practice, highlights the exceptional imaging quality of an MRI and its importance to veterinarians.
“MRI is considered the gold standard in diagnostic imaging. An animal MRI is especially advantageous when dealing with musculoskeletal, brain and spinal disease and injuries. This opportunity means that Canterbury veterinarians, as well as any veterinarian in New Zealand, are now able to access world-class radiology imaging every day,” says Michelle McMaster. 

Health – ProCare reflects on progress made towards equitable health outcomes

Source: ProCare

Just over 12 months since launching its equity strategy, healthcare provider ProCare has made significant progress on its year one roadmap but recognises that this is just the beginning, and there is more work to be done.

In 2021, ProCare made a commitment to align to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and deliver key actions to help improve equity in healthcare in its ‘ProEquity’ strategy. This strategy came after extensive engagement with staff and wider stakeholder around key actions ProCare could take towards achieving more equitable outcomes.

The ProEquity Strategy covers key areas such as:

  • Strategy
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Structure and People
  • Partnerships with Mana Whenua
  • People, Culture, Training and Policies
  • Partnerships – whānau voice
  • Service
  • Reporting.

Bindi Nowell, Chief Executive at ProCare says: “Over the last year, we have made key strides in the strategy and direction of ProCare. We’ve listened to the feedback that came from engagement with stakeholders, and as a result developed integrated strategies for Māori and Pacific Health that weave in priorities for Te Tiriti o Waitangi alignment and equity.”

“The ProCare brand has been refreshed to better reflect the diverse communities we serve. The public website, vision, mission, purpose and values now put whānau at the centre of ProCare’s mahi and ensure alignment with Te Tiriti,” continues Nowell.

Mihi Blair, Acting Head of Equity at ProCare, says: “Achieving this plan requires a shared commitment and collective process across ProCare as well as building authentic and collaborative relationships with Māori, Pacific and the diverse population groups that make up Tāmaki Makaurau.

“We recognised there was a need for representation of Tangata Whenua in a decision-making capacity, so one key step we undertook was to appoint Sarah (Hera) Kinred (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) as the Tangata Whenua representative on the ProCare Health Limited Board. This appointment is a critical step for ProCare, and Sarah’s leadership will be vital in shaping how the Board makes decisions.

“Earlier in the year we also launched a significant community initiative in Ara Hauora – our mobile health service. Ara Hauora is a family centred initiative, where a team of nurses and health coaches take mobile van services home to whānau who will benefit most through outreach,” continues Blair.

“ProCare has not only looked outwardly at how to serve our communities, but also internally and how our team can represent the communities they serve. As an organisation, we have focused on our people, culture, training and policies to ensure we give staff the knowledge and skills needed to confidently interact with all people,” she continues.

“We’ve launched the ihi app – a cultural confidence tool, implemented an anti-racism and unconscious bias policy, have launched the 'Achieving Equity for Pacific – A guide for General Practice' to support our network.

“Looking forward, we have a focus on increasing Māori and Pasifika workforce in primary care and also how we can support our network work work better with hard-to-reach whānau and we are currently developing a cultural competency training course call Te Pūheke (the flow) and a Pasifika app. While these actions are a great step forward for ProCare, we recognise we’re still very early on in the journey and we are committed to building on the progress made toward achieving equitable health outcomes for the people of Aotearoa,” concludes Blair.

About ProCare

ProCare is a leading healthcare provider that aims to deliver the most progressive, pro-active and equitable health and wellbeing services in Aotearoa. We do this through our clinical support services, mental health and wellness services, virtual/tele health, mobile health, smoking cessation and by taking a population health and equity approach to our mahi. As New Zealand’s largest Primary Health Organisation, we represent a network of general practice teams and healthcare professionals who provide care to more than 850,000 people across Auckland and Northland. These practices serve the largest Pacific and South Asian populations enrolled in general practice and the largest Māori population in Tāmaki Makaurau. For more information go to www.procare.co.nz

Business – New Image acquires Nutrimetics from Tupperware Brands

Source: Trio Communications for New Image Group

Auckland, July 5, 2022: New Image Group has acquired skincare and cosmetics brand Nutrimetics from Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE: TUP) for an undisclosed sum.

Nutrimetics is a natural fit with New Image’s portfolio of health and nutrition products says Graeme Clegg, founder and chairman of the privately owned New Image Group.

 “Nutrimetics is such an iconic brand with a proud 54-year history that has seen generations of women and men benefit from its incredible skincare and income opportunity. In the future, as part of New Image Group, it will be available to so many more people globally through our independent consultants.”

New Image Group has two subsidiaries – New Image International, which covers the global direct selling retail sales channel, and NIG Nutritionals, which takes care of all manufacturing and packaging in New Zealand for New Image International and its other customers serving domestic and international sales channels.

Rod Taylor, CEO of New Image International, says as Tupperware had decided to divest its beauty business units, he and others formerly associated with Nutrimetics saw it as an opportunity for New Image Group.

“After we had completed extensive due diligence, we were delighted our offer for the whole business was accepted,” Mr Taylor says.  “A recent Nutrimetics’ conference on Australia’s Gold Coast confirmed our enthusiasm is well founded.

“We have plans to bring in new business systems to Nutrimetics and to increase the sales and marketing support for our independent consultants and grow revenue. ”

The acquisition includes Nutrimetics Australia, Nutrimetics International New Zealand, Nutrimetics Manufacturing and Nutrimetics France.

Education – Te Pūkenga – ServiceIQ joins Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited

Source: Te Pukenga
Kaimahi and representatives from ServiceIQ and Te Pūkenga came together in Wellington this morning for a pōwhiri as ServiceIQ was welcomed into Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited.
Around 120 kaimahi attended to mark the occasion, following ServiceIQ’s formal transition on 1 July 2022 to become a division of the Work Based Learning subsidiary.
ServiceIQ is the national industry workplace trainer for the aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism, and museum sectors. Their 94 kaimahi support more than 13,000 workplace apprentices and trainees, and 2,500 Gateway students across the motu.
“It is always exciting to welcome more people and industries to our work-based learning whānau and ServiceIQ is no exception”, says Toby Beaglehole, Chief Executive of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning.
ServiceIQ brings with it strong connections across all of the service industry, working with industry associations, government, advisory groups, schools, and all kinds of businesses, from large national chains to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Like with the TITOs that have come before ServiceIQ, it is important to us to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved,” says Toby. “We’ve taken a ‘lift and shift’ approach so ServiceIQ’s ākonga and kaimahi will see little change in these early days.
“Our main priority is ensuring ServiceIQ is welcomed and excited about the future ahead for all of us as we seek to improve outcomes for learners, employers and industries.”
ServiceIQ Director, Andrew McSweeney says: “Today, with ServiceIQ becoming a business division of Work Based Learning, we grow Aotearoa’s premier vocational education provider. We are excited by the potential for the great things that will drive success for employers, trainees, schools, Te Pūkenga and its staff, and the health, wealth, and well-being of all people in Aotearoa.”
ServiceIQ joins four other divisions already transitioned into Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning subsidiary – Competenz, Connexis, BCITO, and MITO. Still to be welcomed throughout the remainder of 2022 are Careerforce, Primary ITO, certain arranging training functions from Skills, and HITO whose transition plan was approved by TEC Board last month. 
Te Pūkenga, New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, was established in 2020 as one of seven key changes of the Reform of Vocational Education. Te Pūkenga is bringing together a national network of integrated learning that supports learners, employers and communities to gain the skills, knowledge, and capabilities Aotearoa needs now and for the future.

Tech – New Zealand IT company Qual IT goes global through acquisition by Planit to become world’s third largest independent IT testing company

Source: Qual IT

New Zealand IT quality assurance company, Qual IT, and partner company SEQA, have agreed to be acquired by Planit, an Australian-headquartered global leader in quality engineering and application testing services. Planit is owned by Nomura Research Institute (NRI) Australia, part of NRI Global, a member of the Nomura Group. Based out of Tokyo, Japan. NRI Global employs 13,500 people around the world and has a market cap of US$15.7bn. In 2021, NRI acquired Planit and has continued to expand globally by acquiring Qual IT and SEQA in New Zealand.

The combined entity of Planit and Qual IT will create the largest independent IT testing company in New Zealand and Australia, and the third largest globally. Qual IT’s partner company, cyber security company, SEQA has also been acquired as part of the deal – with plans for growth in this sector. The deal puts the value of the Planit Group within the top 10 New Zealand technology companies.

Senior management at Qual IT and SEQA will remain in place and continue to lead the business with existing employees and clients. Qual IT and SEQA will initially retain their brands.  

Shane Hewson and Jon McPhee, the founding partners of Qual IT, started the business almost 20 years ago in Wellington, and have grown it to over 250 employees across Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington.  

“This is an incredible milestone for Qual IT and SEQA and will launch the next stage of growth,” says Shane Hewson, co-founder of Qual IT. “It will provide immediate scale, IP, geographical spread, and a significantly bigger balance sheet.  

“Joining a global company is a huge and exciting opportunity for our employees and clients, providing access to global expertise, networks, resources, systems, and opportunities,” says Shane.

“The decision to partner with NRI and Planit was made after careful deliberation,” says Jon McPhee, co-founder of Qual IT. “The shareholders, all who will remain as part of the business, decided that Planit as part of NRI was the right organisation to partner with for the next stage of growth for the business, for employees and for clients,” says Jon.

“SEQA is a relatively new business which has fast-become recognised as a New Zealand leader in cyber security solutions – the transaction with Planit will turbocharge us into the future and immediately scales up our business,” says Mark Keegan, chief executive officer of SEQA. “This provides immediate and significant upside to our employees and clients.”  

“This is about launching to a bright future and partnering to form a stronger group. It is a huge opportunity for Qual IT and SEQA to grow exponentially and become global players while retaining our core culture,” concludes Shane.

“Welcoming Qual IT to the Planit group will enable us, as a combined entity, to maximise our service offerings and industry expertise,” says Mike Weale, CEO of Planit. “We are focused on presenting enhanced opportunities for employees across the combined entity, as well as for our customer base. Through each other’s strengths, Planit and Qual IT will jointly contribute to a progressive, safe, and secure society.”

Qual IT joins Planit locally in New Zealand and globally into the wider business footprint across Australia, India, UK and the Philippines. The acquisition figure is confidential.

Qual IT:

Backed by 17 years of experience, Qual IT partners with organisations to deliver their business needs by providing expert Quality Assurance (QA) which includes consulting, business analysis, testing, test engineering and information security services to help ensure certainty for IT investments. Qual IT services over 80 clients, including some of New Zealand’s largest and most successful organisations. Today, Qual IT employs over 250 permanent and contract QA professionals, located across its headquarters in Wellington, as well as Auckland, Christchurch, and Hamilton. More information: https://www.qualit.co.nz/about-us/


Pronounced ‘se-cue-uh’, SEQA was founded in 2019 by Mark Keegan and Qual IT with the vision of providing businesses with information security services that are integrated with quality assurance. Its services include a range of world-class offensive and defensive services to help businesses become resilient from cyber-attacks.  More information: https://www.seqa.co.nz/about/


Planit is a global leader in quality engineering and application testing services, helping companies build better software. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Planit employs over 1600 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, India and the United Kingdom. Planit was founded in 1997 in Australia and has operated in New Zealand since 2009 when it established its Wellington office, before subsequently opening in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. In 2021, Planit was acquired by Nomura Research Institute (NRI) Australia, part of NRI global, a member of the Nomura Group. More information:  https://www.planittesting.com/about


Founded in 1965, NRI is a leading global provider of consulting services and system solutions, including management consulting, system integration, and IT management and solutions for the financial, manufacturing, retail and service industries. Clients from all layers of these individual industries partner with NRI to tap NRI’s research expertise and innovative solutions across the organization to expand businesses, design corporate structures and create new business strategies. NRI has more than 16,000 employees in more than 100 offices globally including New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. NRI reports annual sales above $4.9 billion. NRI is rated “A” by S&P Global Ratings Japan. In 2021, NRI acquired Planit as part of its Vision 2022 strategy, and have continued to expand its global presence by acquiring Qual IT and SEQA in New Zealand as part of its Vision 2030 strategy. More information: https://www.nri.com/en/company

Health – Sharing clear information and risks about medication vital for informed choice and informed consent

Source: Health and Disability Commissioner

The importance of providing clear information to consumers so they can give informed consent about their care was highlighted in a decision by Deputy Commissioner Rose Wall who found a psychiatrist in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code).
This case concerns a woman who became pregnant whilst taking Epilim (sodium valproate), for treatment of a mood disorder which was prescribed to her by the psychiatrist. Epilim can place the fetus at high risk of developing serious birth defects, and affect the way in which the child develops. The psychiatrist had not shared important information with the woman about the risks of taking Epilim to enable her to make an informed choice or give informed consent about her care.
The case reinforces the significance of the informed consent process, and highlights in the context of fetal anticonvulsant syndrome, the importance of prescribing clinicians sharing with women clear information about the risks and benefits of taking Epilim when there is a possibility that they may become pregnant whilst taking the medication.
It also highlights the need for Government agencies involved in safe prescribing practices to review the adequacy of current safeguards for mitigating the risk of fetal abnormalities in babies exposed to certain drugs while in the womb.
Ms Wall found failure of the DHB to have in place procedures relating to the prescribing of Epilim to women of childbearing age, and the practice of its psychiatrists not recording detailed clinical records, were systemic factors that contributed to the lack of information provided to the woman.
The psychiatrist who initially prescribed Epilim to the woman did not provide her with information that a reasonable consumer would expect to receive. She therefore found the psychiatrist in breach of the Code.
Ms Wall made adverse comments relating to discussions between a second psychiatrist and the women about the risks of Epilim and pregnancy that were not documented. Incorrect information was also provided by an obstetrician to the woman about the risks of Epilim to an unborn child.
A midwife who retrospectively amended the woman’s antenatal records was also found to have breached the Code for not providing services that comply with legal, professional, ethical, and other relevant standards.
Ms Wall recommended the psychiatrist, midwife and obstetrician apologise to the woman. She also made recommendations to relevant professional colleges to improve the accessibility of information and processes around documentation and communication of the risks and benefits about Epilim to ensure patients have a clear understanding of these. Ms Wall further recommended that Medsafe, ACC, and the Health Quality and Safety Commission work together to have written materials about anti-seizure medications available in plain English, and in other languages, to make information as accessible as possible.
Ms Wall said; “This case provides an opportunity to ensure information about Epilim and other teratogenic medications is shared widely. The recommendations made in this decision reflects my commitment to ensure this happens as a result of the woman’s experience.
“I am pleased to see there has been a concerted effort from multiple organisations to ensure there is clear information available about the risks of Epilim and pregnancy. I also note that based on information provided by Medsafe, numbers of women being dispensed Epilim in the ten months prior to delivering a baby has reduced significantly over the past ten years.
“While this reduction is encouraging, I consider there is still work to be done and I will continue to pay close attention to people’s concerns as they raise them.
“I encourage anyone who has an issue with informed consent or the standard of care they have received for a health and disability service to report their concerns to my office directly at 0800 11 22 33 or to make a complaint at www.hdc.org.nz,” said Ms Wall.
The full report of this case can be viewed on HDC’s website – see HDC's ' Latest Decisions'.
Names have been removed from the report to protect privacy of the individual involved in this case. We anticipate that the Commissioner will name DHBs and public hospitals found in breach of the Code unless it would not be in the public interest or would unfairly compromise the privacy interests of an individual provider or a consumer. HDC’s naming policy can be found on our website here.
HDC promotes and protects the rights of people using health and disability services as set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (the Code).

EDUCAITON – A Commotion is coming to NMIT Nelson Campus

Source: Te Pukenga

There’s going to be a commotion on Nelson campus guaranteed to get youth musicians excited.
The Youth Music Colab Commotion will give 13 to 20-year-olds the opportunity to learn from some of New Zealand’s premium musicians over a weekend of workshops, panel discussions and performances.
Laughton Kora (Kora), Joel Shadbolt (L.A.B) and Sam Trevethick (Shapeshifter) are just three of the presenters coming to Nelson to run workshops and perform at the Saturday Showcase at Commotion in August.
Coordinators Scott Burnett and Emily Sanson originally experienced Commotion in Wanaka and wanted to bring the concept to Nelson. They say the purpose of the weekend is to demystify pathways within the music industry by exposing youth to ‘content and inspiration’ from music mentors.
“We wanted to give young musicians in our region the chance to learn from the pros and explore music from a range of angles, whether they are singers, songwriters, DJs, future Rockquest contestants or bedroom producers,” says Scott.
“There is no minimum ability level required, and the focus of Commotion is on song writing, creating music, mixing with other kids and sparking the creative process.”
Commotion is supported by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), alongside the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts and the New Zealand Music Commission.
The weekend is based at NMIT’s G-Block and Sara Mathews, programme lead specialist for creative industries, says the collaboration showcases the facilities and the music programme at NMIT.
“Through our relationship with Commotion we can show students they can take their musical journey further without leaving the region-plus it’s an incredible experience for young people in Nelson to be exposed to music rock stars,” she says.
“There’s also some currency in having our tutors involved-connecting with the local and New Zealand music scene and working together to produce music.”
During the weekend there are a selection of workshops including music composition and producing, DJing, creation software, song writing, promotion, live performance, vocal coaching, guitar techniques, stage presence, sound mixing and how to get a good live sound.
No matter where the participants are on their musical journey, whether they are taking music at school or just dreaming of playing in a band, Emily and Scott hope that Commotion will give them a contemporary musical experience to remember.
Commotion is on from 12-14 August in NMIT G-Block on Nile Street, Nelson. 

First Responders – Joint media statement – Fire and Emergency and NZPFU

Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand

The NZ Professional Firefighters’ Union and Fire and Emergency NZ are currently working on a process to re-engage constructively in collective bargaining.
A mutually agreed third party will be engaged to support and assist this re-engagement.
The industrial action currently underway remains in place, but this will not impact our career firefighters’ ability to respond to emergency incidents.
Both parties have agreed not to engage in media interviews about the issues to be progressed through the collective bargaining process.
Neither party will be making further comment on the contents of this joint statement. Further updates will be provided in due course.

Federated Farmers and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders saddle up for mutual benefit

Source: Federated Farmers

A new partnership between Federated Farmers of NZ and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (NZTBA) underlines the commitment of both organisations to helping their members be front-runners in caring for their animals and land.
“Farmers who join the Federation have long recognised we’re stronger together,” Feds CEO Terry Copeland says. “With thoroughbred breeders also joining the fold, we have a bigger pool of resources and greater strength to our voice in our advocacy to politicians, decision-makers and government departments.”
As landowners, there will already be NZTBA members who belong to Federated Farmers and the partnership agreement between the two organisations will strengthen and develop those ties.
“We have a lot in common,” Terry said. “Whether you’re a breeder of champion horses, a dairy or sheep farmer, you’re vitally interested in the welfare of your animals and being a good steward of your land. We’re all interested in ensuring government policies that affect our industries are sensible, practical and affordable.”
NZTBA chief executive Justine Sclater also believes the alliance adds value for the members of both organisations – and to New Zealand.
“Thoroughbred breeding is a primary industry and many of the issues around environment, employment, and immigration legislation that Federated Farmers have been tackling are also faced by breeders. So it makes sense to join forces as a collective,” Justine said.
“The NZTBA is investing in conducting research into the environmental impacts of equine farming to ensure when we are representing our industry and we have scientific evidence to back our claims. We believe this is just one area where the partnership will be mutually beneficial.
“The New Zealand thoroughbred is a world-renowned product and we are a significant contributor to our local communities and the New Zealand economy.”
There are more than nearly 4,000 thoroughbred breeders in New Zealand, directly employing a similar number of staff. Their work underpins the racing industry, which directly employs another 45,000 New Zealanders.
“As a whole, the breeding and racing industry generates around $1.7 billion for the New Zealand economy,” Justine said.
It’s a contribution that the recently-appointed Minister for Racing, Kieran McAnulty, noted when his government confirmed the sector continued to deserve its own Minister.
“It’s not an also ran, it’s a prominent front-runner. Racing is a significantly important export industry to this country and provides just as much as the fishing industry to our GDP,” Kieran said.