Minister of Fisheries faces a big job inspecting the sector

The fishing sector could be in for major changes, as a new minister takes the helm.

New Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says he's already facing pushback from various sectors over data relating to fish dumping.

Mr Nash says there are "issues" within the Ministry for Primary Industries and didn't rule out the possibility of an inquiry.

"What I am getting is a little bit of pushback from certain areas, who are doubting the data from one side, who then doubt the data from the other side."

The Ministry for Primary Industries is being split up, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last month singaling out fisheries as an area of particular concern.  "There are issues and dysfunction in the ministry that need to be worked through".

Mr Nash confirmed the fisheries division of the ministry is facing some challenges.

"There are issues around bycatch, around dumping, around inshore trawling."

Emails released to Greenpeace have further heightened concern. 

One email relates to a scientific paper, which criticises the usefulness of video cameras being used on trawl boats. 

The paper, written by MPI's own scientists, concluded that the video footage was of such poor quality that it couldn't be relied on for prosecutions in court. 

It appears senior managers stopped the paper from being published. An email from an MPI staff member in April stated that "MPI are shelving the video paper", and that fisheries management director Dave Turner "insists the paper be buried".

Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman says this proves the ministry needs serious reform.

"The regulator has been compromised," he says. "It needs to be broken up and the whole thing needs to be built from scratch again, based on the principal that it works for the people of New Zealand, not the fishing industry."

Mr Turner wouldn't comment, but MPI agrees it never wanted the paper published, because it never asked for it.

In a statement, the ministry said the instruction from senior management was that the report was of such poor quality, it should not be released as is.

Recreational fishers, supported by Northland iwi Ngāpuhi, are also calling for change, including Legasea strategist Scott Macindoe.

"It's essential we stop believing this nonsense of the world's leading quota management system and start seeing some proper intervention - some real system that brings back innovation and pride."

Mr Nash won't say whether there will be an inquiry into the ministry.

"Nothing is off the table, but at this stage, I'm not saying there's going to be an inquiry. I just need to do a lot more work and satisfy my own curiosity, do my own research."

He says he'll make a decision before Christmas.