Press Release. 6/05/2021
Government Takeover of Fish and Game will be hotly challenged by 100,000 license holders. A call For Action!
The NZ Outdoors Party is very concerned by the newly released recommendations of the Fish and Game review set up by Eugenie Sage when she was Conservation Minister.
The Chairman of the NZ Fish and Game Council has suggested they would begin voluntarily enacting the recommendations before the hundred thousand plus members have time to consider the consequences of the
Fish and Game is well known to the NZ Outdoors Party President, Alan Simmons who was one of the 12 foundation Councillors of Fish and Game setting up the organization on behalf of the minister in 1989, and went on to become an elected NZ Council for 4 years and sat the Easter Region council for 11 years.
“There has always been a difficult relationship between Fish and Game and the government “says Alan Simmons. ” The Department of Conservation who are legislatively responsible for F&G concentrate on managing native species and seem to have lost their resolve to advocate for freshwater. Doc consider fish and game birds as intruders and conflict will always be a problem.” Alan went on to say “Even back then it soon became obvious that a problem would always exist between the NZ Council whose role was to co ordinate the 12 regional councils and the regional councils whose role was to manage the resources.”
One of the recommendations is that the NZ Councillors needed to be elected as independent board members as it should have been from the beginning but the legislation made them an appointee of the region resulting in regional control over the NZ Council.
“The reports proposal to reduce the regions from 12 to 6 and sharing expertise between regions is a good one” Alan Simmons said “but the proposal to reduce the number of elected Councillors from 12 to 4 with
another 4 to be appointed by the minister can only be seen as an audacious takeover of this user say user pay organization by this government.
Fish and Game has a long historic tradition of managing game birds and freshwater fishing since the introduction of fish and birds to NZ in the 1800’s via the settler formed Acclimatization Societies.
Many of the environmental wins we currently have now were hard fought for by the old Acclimatization societies and as an example the current protection and purity of many river headwaters came about as a result of river conservation orders hard fought for and funded by Anglers over the past years. “Alan commented” that most of the wetlands that we have left were either purchased or saved by hunters. Most of these would not exist today such as the kaituna wetland purchased by fund raising sausage sizzles and generous donations by the Tauranga acclimatization Society.” Alan was on the Acclimatization Society council in the 1970’s and recalls vividly the hard fought campaigns to save what are now treasured places.
One of the legislative roles of Fish and Game has been advocacy around clean water and this has consumed a lot of anglers funds without any input from Government who abdicated their role in “clean water” allowing Federated farmers to engaged in a concerted war on Fish And Game because they did not like their advocacy on dirty dairying”. This extensive criticism by federated farmers helped to convince the minister in holding this review all the while F&G were really just doing what was required of them under the Conservation act.
Also of concern is the requirement under the conservation act that F&G Councillors were not to be paid for their time and work begging the question that if government appointees were assigned to councils would they be paid and not the other 4 Councillors? If everyone was to be paid then the cost of fishing and hunting licenses would have to double.
Anglers and hunters need to stand up and decide as to weather they accept the reports recommendations effectively a government takeover or fight off but another in a long list of government attempts.
The New Zealand Outdoors Party will not be a party to the appointment of government stooges to the F&G councils when the whole organization is funded entirely by license holders money. It was set up as a user pays user says organization and so it should continue.
More information contact
Alan Simmons 0274 980 304