NZFFA May 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to Your Newsletter

The Federation's  Executive:

President: Peter Trolove (Rakaia)

Treasurer: tba

Secretary: tba


Steve Gerard (Central South island), Andi Cockroft (Wellington), Larry Burke (NZ Salmon Anglers), David Haynes (Nelson), Malcolm Francis (Kapiti), Zane Mirfin (Nelson), Brett Bensemann (Otago), Casey Cravens (Otago). 

Life Members, Tony Orman, (Marlborough), Sandy Bull (Gisborne), Ian Rodger (Auckland) and Ken Sims (Manawatu) are automaticaly on the committee

Co-opted:  Alan Rennie (North Canterbury)

Fish and Game Review Proposals Undemocratic


Hunters and fishers would largely be deprived from participation and management of their sports body, NZ Fish and Game, if recommendations contained in a recently released Government-instigated review of their organisation are adopted, states the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA).
“It takes out the heart of ‘user-pays/user says’,” says NZFFA president Dr Peter Trolove.
The review proposes control being passed to the Minister of Conservation and the Department of Conservation (DOC).
“This so-called ‘independent’ review, called for by former Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, highlights a glaring conflict of interest within a government department in which many see their role solely as conservators of New Zealand’s indigenous species – while condemning trout and salmon as ‘introduced predators’. Ironically DOC has a very poor record in managing and conserving New Zealand’s native fish,” Dr Trolove says.
The review recommends that an elected or appointed salaried chair of NZ Fish and Game (NZFGC) should head and control the implementation of the review.
The present chair of the NZFGC Ray Grubb told Radio NZ the organisation itself would now be implementing the recommendations of the review with the agreed approval of Environment Minister David Parker.
“The minister has endorsed that approach by recognising that I will continue as chair of Fish and Game, and that Fish and Game will actually put in place the report itself rather than have it directed by the Department of Conservation,” Grubb says - maintaining he is the right person to lead the changes.
Trolove says that could be viewed as a dictatorial undemocratic process being forced upon a sports organisation financed by the annual licence fees that are paid for by individual fishers and hunters.
“The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers demand that licence holders and Fish and Game regional councillors have the opportunity to discuss and vote as to whether they accept the review and current Fish and Game chair’s intentions. Anything less would smack of dictatorship and a Government takeover of a member-financed sports body.”
The review’s proposed changes of government appointees occupying previously elected council seats, both nationally and regionally, would be seen by many as an agenda of government takeover, not unlike the government’s seizure of Environment Canterbury back in 2009,Trolove says.
“This governance review is weak on positive governance recommendations. Diminishing democratic participation isn’t improved governance,” he says.
Trolove says democracy has been a hallmark of Fish and Game to make it fully effective an automatic "opt-in" registration of all licence holders to vote in Fish and Game elections should be implemented.
Currently on buying a licence an angler or shooter has to signify separately, their wish to be eligible to vote.
“Plus we would want more regular public consultation, especially on controversial topics like water policy or sustainable tourism”, he adds

Contact: Peter Trolove, President NZFFA

Phone 03 324 2779 or 029 779 0295

An internal review of NZFFA relationships


Over recent weeks, NZFFA has been reviewing its relationship with various bodies, most notably the Fish & Game Council.

As part of that review, many NZFFA Executive Members held strong personal views and with several also elected as Councillors to F&G, held a conflict of interest as well.

The majority of the Executive felt that the Federation needs to first and foremost represent the interests of its Members. If in doing so we have at times to be critical of organisations such as F&G, DOC etc, so be it. Our independence on these occasions is vital.

It is with some sadness then that some Executive Members felt unable to continue their various roles in the circumstances and most regrettably two have chosen to tender their resignation.

Wider Benefits of Going Outdoors

by Tony Orman

Some time ago, Sport Tasman’s Nigel Muir wrote a newspaper opinion piece “Go Wild-You’ll get Rewards” which was excellent but arguably did not go far enough. It seemed somewhat confined to frenetic activity like mountain marathons and bush runs and a sense of competitiveness.

Nigel touched on the disturbing trend that “children are losing their wilderness hours at an alarming rate” and the related aspect that obesity, mental health and suicide rates are unacceptably high.

Do children dream of the outdoors through games such as this?

But going outdoors into the wilderness does not have to be frenetic nor competitive, but can be relatively passive yet giving aerobic physical exercise and mental therapy.

A recent trend overseas has been to “eco-therapy,” deliberately seeking a close association with nature. Avenues can be several such as walking, cycling, fishing, hunting, canoeing, four-wheel driving and other outdoor recreation mediums.

For youngsters the outdoors is an indispensable classroom.  The sweet success of catching a trout or perhaps a kahawai, shooting a rabbit, climbing a mountain or canoeing a river builds self-esteem. Tramping, fishing and hunting encourage observation, analytical reasoning and respect for Nature.

But sadly today some youths often just in their early teens, are committing heinous crimes or indulging in senseless vandalism and irresponsible behaviour. Because of a mixture of boredom,  bewilderment and a feeling of helplessness, youngsters are lashing out. Their confidence for the future is often uncertain and self-esteem is frequently low.

Young people have energies to burn which if not channelled down the right path, have the potential to go awry.  

In New Zealand’s egalitarian society, anyone can fish or hunt. It’s a legacy the first European settlers instilled into the new colony to escape the feudal system of Britain where for example, the best trout fishing, deerstalking or pheasant shooting is the preserve of the wealthy minority.

In effect, in New Zealand, the kid down the street may go trout fishing on equal terms and rights as the city’s top solicitor, doctor, baker and the candlestick maker or even the Prime Minister or Governor-General. In fact, there have been former Prime Ministers. The late Jack Marshall a National government PM was a very keen trout fisherman. The much-respected Labour government PM Norman Kirk was a pig hunter in his younger days and an ardent fisherman.

I suspect we could do with a few more practical keen fishing hunting chaps or gals in the House. Yes, women can hunt and fish too!

A Horizon survey of sporting participation rates in 2012  showed fishing has more than five times more people participating than rugby. Twentysix percent go fishing while just 5 percent play rugby.

When it comes to getting off the couch, 25.5 percent of adult men and 18 percent of women go fishing. And as far as youth go, about 35 percent went fishing.

We should be encouraging young New Zealanders into the outdoors. But sadly government priorities and policies don’t give incentive but even spawn disincentives. Politics is nothing more than “cause and effect.” Increasing foreign ownership of New Zealand farmland has resulted in locked gates whereas formerly most Kiwi farming families willingly granted access.

Rivers that youngsters once swam and fished in have had flows depleted by irrigation for corporate dairying. In turn, nitrates and other pollution foul water quality. Alarmingly 61 percent of NZ’s lowland rivers are rated unfit for swimming.

It’s just not youngsters who benefit from outdoor recreation either. Eco-therapy is the “in” thing for an increasingly stressed society but it’s nothing new.

American conservationist John Muir once wrote in the 1930-s  “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

Indeed it is therapeutic. John Muir also wrote   “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”

And the great conservationist 19th century Ralph Waldo Emerson reckoned  “In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period so ever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth.”

All it needs is government recognition and protection of the value of the outdoors and its recreation to society.

More Sad News for NZFFA

As mentioned above, following our internal discussions regarding our relationship with external parties, some of our existing Executive felt unable to continue in their roles.

The executive has yet to formally accept the resignations of Strato and Michael as particularly in the case of Strato, he has loyally served the Federation for 30 years, being treasurer and on one occasion as president. Thank you Strato you have been a true stalwart. Your long service is appreciated

Is There a Cure for Fishing Fever?

This article by “Angler’s Wife” was in a 1938 “NZ Fishing and Shooting Gazette” magazine. We reproduce it here in slightly abridged form in the hope it may help some wives and partners.

One thing about husbands they are all daft about something. When a woman gets married she accepts a new job. A man goes in for marriage as a sideline to his main occupation. With mine, it happens to be fishing, which is worse than ever.

I knew before I was married. They said “You’re marrying Joe Williams? He’s the angler, isn’t he? Oh well, maybe it’ll be alright.

I thought I could fix him, “adapt him” I called it. I later realised you can cure them of leprosy easier.

For me, I’m reasonable. I don’t object to his spending all his half days fishing. I can shut my ears to his long, long, fishing stories. But to me, this fishing business is like over-smoking or biting your nails. They ought to advertise things to cure it.

Fishing is more than amusement. It is more than an occupation. As far as I can see it is in the nature of a faith. For as my husband grows older, he grows dafter.

What I complain of most of all is a fisherman’s inconsistency. He will wait for hours by the water on the chance conditions will come right. Yet should I be five minutes late in preparing his breakfast, there are words.

A trout it seems is a creature to be wooed and coaxed with infinite patience. Breakfast has to come immediately it’s whistled for.

On his fishing outings, my husband wears a hat with flies festooned in it. Soft and greenish shapeless and abominable, the hat carries flies in it as a crown carries jewels.

No fishermen would admit the flies are stuck in the hat primarily as a decoration, yet such is the case. The whole affair is as arrant a piece of exhibitionism as I’ve ever met.

Sometimes he goes fishing at night, a thing I heartily disapprove of, since the effect on his temper can be vile to a degree.

He may fish but he doesn’t always catch something. The excuses are legendary. When the breeze is right, the light is wrong, when the light is right, the sun was too strong earlier when the sun and the light and the breeze and the water and the lure and temperature are all satisfactory. Then it seems the fault must be in his horoscope.

The ideal fishing day only comes on one occasion. That is when we have guests in the house and my husband must chafe indoors.

If you want to know just what life is like with a mono-maniac, a 37-year-old schoolboy - a perpetual after-dinner speaker and a night watchman all rolled into one - marry an angler.

Why don't you drink and gamble like other husbands?

Postings From the Website

Some of our more recent posts from the website (see

The Canterbury Regional Council’s Freshwater Legacy.
A Pictorial Essay When the Key government sat down with its MAF advisors in 2009 to double New Zealand’s GDP through ramping up irrigated dairy farming in Canterbury, it passed…


Fish Deaths from Lethal Spray in Canterbury
An estimated 600 to 1000 fish died as a result of a lethal spray being tipped into a Canterbury waterway, including common bullies, native kōkopu, brown trout, and koura or freshwater…


Letter calling for urgent review of South Canterbury rivers rejected
From Timaru Herald: Supplied Otop members Elizabeth McKenzie, Dr Phil Driver and Tom O’Connor say the Pareora River (above) has been “over-allocated.” An attempt to urge Environment Canterbury (ECan) to…


Flow-on effect ‘Modest’ improvement to water quality from plan change
Courtesy of Fuseworks: Horizons Regional Council has adopted recommendations that will allow some intensive farming operations to apply for resource consent – after a gap of three years. At its…


Joni Mitchell Was Right
Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got Till it’s gone                                    Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi   Recently dead vegetation – North Rakaia River April…


Why are we subsidising harm?
Guest opinion by Dr Mike Joy  The school strikes for the climate are not a fad and they’re not going away. They should be a wake-up. The kids are telling…


Government Needs to Come Clean on Foreign Buy-ups of NZ
The current government needs to instigate far stricter controls on foreigners buying up New Zealand’s countryside says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations as well as keeping the New Zealand…


Reprinted From 20 Years Ago - 2001
The more things change, the more they stay the same New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, (Inc.) February 2001 The Case Against the Importation of Trout Flesh into New Zealand…


Fish are suffering on an industry-wide scale, scathing Scottish salmon farm investigation reveals
An undercover investigation of the Scottish salmon industry and its accompanying report recently released reveal suffering, breaches of Scottish animal welfare law and shocking mortality rates. It uncovers the grim…


It's sold as '100% pure'. But behind New Zealand's clean, green image lies a dirty truth
From New Zealand’s waterways are some of the most degraded in the developed world. Will the Ardern government clean it up or will the Maori take control? In New…



The opinion pieces and submitted articles are provided for your interest and information. They do not necessarily represent the views of all of the Executive members but are seen as vital to promote active debate around the issues that fit the aims and objectives of the Federation.

If you have not already done so feel free to comment on any of the articles on our website. The discussions always open up many valid points.



The NZFFA December 2020 and January and March 2021 newsletters published certain allegations and comments that stated or implied inappropriate actions on the part of the Fish and Game New Zealand Council and its officer holders.
Although it is an objective of NZFFA to keep the public informed and it encourages open discussion by its members, members’ honestly held opinions may cause harm and we must always ensure that any comments are accurate and presented in good faith.
Whilst NZFFA supports its members to voice their opinions, it believes that the allegations and comments may have deviated from the values that NZFFA wishes to promote and as a result those Newsletters have been removed from NZFFA website.
The NZFFA apologises for any offence, hurt or humiliation that some of the allegations and comments in its Newsletters may have caused to the New Zealand Fish and Game Council and to its Chair Mr Grubb and its acting Chief Executive Mr Shortis.

Please feel free to circulate this newsletter around club members and friends.

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