NZFFA March 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to Your Newsletter


The Federation's  Executive:

President: Peter Trolove (Rakaia)

Treasurer: Strato Cotsilinis (Wellington)

Secretary: Rex Gibson (Christchurch)


Steve Gerard (Central South island), Andi Cockroft (Wellington), Larry Burke (NZ Salmon Anglers), David Haynes (Nelson), Malcolm Francis (Kapiti), Zane Mirfin (Nelson), Michael Gregg (Marlborough), 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)

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

How Can We Improve?

We are looking at ways we can better serve the needs of our many Members and Affiliated Clubs.

If you have any suggestions on the way we can improve either the Website, Social Media or Newsletter, please let us know via a feedback page on the website at - anonymous messages may be left.

 Accolades are of course also welcome.

In particular, how can we improve our effectiveness in representing you, the nation’s anglers?

If you do want us to contact you, then please provide contact details and let us know in your message that you could like us to get in touch.

We look forward to your comments

NZFFA Executive

NZFFA Short History



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.

NZFFA Gold Medal Supporters. (As of the February update)

  • Alexandra Fishing Club
  • Auckland Freshwater Anglers Club
  • Dunedin Community Salmon Trust
  • Gisborne Anglers Club
  • Hamilton Anglers Club
  • Kapiti Fly Fishing Club
  • Manawatu Freshwater Anglers Club
  • North Shore Fly Fishing Club
  • Rotorua Anglers Club
  • Southland Fly Fishing Club
  • Upper Clutha Anglers Club
  • Wellington Fly Fishers' Club
  • Whakatane Trout Fishing Club

Silver Medal Supporter

Tongariro and Taupo Angling Club

Financial Supporters:

Canterbury Fly Fishing Club, Christchurch Fishing and Casting Club, Horowhenua Freshwater Anglers' Club, Marlborough Freshwater Anglers' Club, Napier Freshwater Anglers Club, Nelson Trout Fishing Club, New Zealand Salmon Anglers' Association, Oamaru Anglers' Club, Ohau Anglers' Club, Otago Anglers' Club, Stream 2000, Taupo Fishing Club, Tautuku Fishing Club Dunedin and Haast, Teviot Angling Club, Wairoa Angling Club.

Affiliated Groups:

  • Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ)
  • New Zealand Salmon Anglers Association Inc.
  • Future Rivers Trust
  • Advocates for the Tongariro River

Next Month

Details on how clubs can subscribe for 2021 to NZFFA; the benefits, and the activities you can solicit our support on.

What's up Guys?

Please explain.

Recent communications from Fish and Game's National Council have advised that Wellington Cr Paul Shortis has been appointed their paid Chief Executive for a period of six months. Apart from being "an inside job", it has also been announced that Paul Shortis will stay on as a Wellington Region Councillor.

Does this not contradict with Section 26M of the Conservation Act 1987? 

Section 26M. No remuneration payable to members


Except as otherwise provided by this Act or any regulations made under it, no member of the New Zealand Fish and Game Council shall be entitled to receive any remuneration or expenses in respect of his or her service as a member of the Council.

Section 26Minserted, on 10 April 1990, by section 17 of the Conservation Law Reform Act 1990 (1990 No 31).

NZFFA PRESIDENT tackles Regional Council on non-notified consent hearing

NZFFA President Peter Trolove.

3rd March 2021

Councillor Jenny Hughey, Chair, Environment Canterbury

Stefanie Rixecker, CEO, Environment Canterbury

Public notification of the renewal of nitrate limits for the Mayfield  Hinds Valetta (MHV) and Ashburton/Lyndhurst irrigation schemes

Dear Jenny and Ms Rixecker,

Angus Robson has contacted me to inform me that the renewal of the consent for nitrate leaching from 94,000 ha covered by the MVH and Ashburton/Lyndhurst irrigation schemes is presently before independent commissioners. He tells me this consent, if allowed, will fix unacceptably high pollution limits for a further 10 year period.

Angus has informed me that this hearing has not been notified to members of the public including the rural residents of Mid Canterbury who use well water for their drinking water. He has contacted two committee members of the Ashburton Water Zone and was informed that even they were unaware the renewal decision is taking place.

As you are aware, the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA) has been measuring nitrate levels in surface and groundwater in Central Canterbury prompted initially by concerns about levels of nitrate in the Hinds and Selwyn Rivers that are toxic to trout eggs and fry leading the disappearance of trout from these once prolific fisheries.

The NZFFA’s optical sensor has also been used to measure nitrate levels in well water for rural residents in the Ashburton and Selwyn water zones prompted by community concern.

Ecan under its former title the Canterbury Regional Council (CRC) has known of the public health implications of nitrate leaching since being advised in reports commissioned by the CRC since the 1980s.

Deposed elected Councillor Eugenie Sage, (2007 – 2010), wrote in a submission regarding CPW, that it would be reckless and irresponsible to proceed with this irrigation scheme until the means and regulations to manage nitrate leaching were in place. Unfortunately the Ecan Act 2010 removed both the regulators and regulations to pave the way for the recent development of new irrigation schemes such as CPW. As a result nitrate levels in the lower Selwyn River which is fed by the aquifer beneath the 48,000ha CPW scheme have increased by over 40% in just two years to a 7 month average of 9.5 mg/L NO3-N.

Last October I reported the results of the degraded Selwyn River to the full Ecan Council and some senior staff. I asked for a report as to what action Ecan would take, knowing that remedying nitrate pollution of aquifers is both politically and practically extremely difficult, the point made by Eugenie Sage in 2012.

The setting of nitrate leaching limits for the 94,000 ha of the MVH and Ashburton/Lyndhurst irrigated zones is of paramount public interest to the ratepayers of Canterbury, farmers, rural residents, and anglers both regional and national.

This is the time for Ecan to step up and let the public participate in a decision that goes beyond the rural economy.

It would reflect badly on Ecan, (and us all), if inappropriate pollution consents that continue the pollution of our aquatic environments are allowed to be rolled over without those whose health and recreational interests are affected being allowed fair democratic process.

I have therefore decided to fully support Angus Robson’s campaign to bring this matter to the attention of the public. This is the time for Ecan to start addressing the damage caused by industrial farming.


Dr Peter Trolove

President NZFFA


The proposed consent would authorise the discharge of up to 12,000 tN/yr on 94,000 Hectares. 

This would mean that N concentration set in the NES-F 2020 for groundwater would be exceeded to the extent of:

≈ 30 times the ecosystem health limit or

10 times the limit set in bottom line   App 2A Table 6 of NPSFM

Angus Robson


MHV Irrigation ponds at Chertsey (Stuff photo)


Are our Fish and Game Managers’ salaries too high?

By Rex N. Gibson

Comments made by me in recent articles have stimulated quite a few questions from licence holders directly on what our regional F & G managers cost them.

Just over a year ago the Fore Consulting Remuneration Report for Fish and Game analysed the salaries of Fish and Game staff. These figures come from that survey obtained by NZFFA..

The mean annual manager’s salary is $128-133K. That is equivalent to the salary of a secondary school principal of a school with 1,100 students, 55 teachers and around 30 support staff to manage (along with many millions of dollars’ worth of property).

The regional managers’ salary range went from $90-95K up to $185-195K. The upper end ($185-195K) being $25K more than the salary of the Principal of this country’s largest secondary school with 2,500+ students and over 150 staff to manage.

The comparison with secondary teachers is used here as most regional managers have a university degree; as do secondary school principals. The mean salary for full-time Fish and Game Officers is between $55-75K. These salaries of F & G Officers are directly comparable with secondary teachers. Many Fish and Game Officers have comparable qualifications with the teachers; there is thus a good benchmark here.

The total salary bill for managers alone exceeds $1.5 million/annum. That requires about 11,500, or more, full season licence fees. All regional staff collectively cost over $6 million – and then there is the cost of the National Office that averages around $2.5 million/annum. All of this from an annual licence fees take of about $11 million. As set out in previous articles some manager’s salaries are close to the total licence fee income for their region.

These salary figures do not include Fish and Game’s payments to Kiwi Saver on the manager’s behalf, normally about $10K/manager/annum, and in several cases the value of private use of the organisation’s vehicles which is variously valued at close to $10K/vehicle/annum, as a “perk” of the job.

The Fore Report compared the salaries of regional managers against Strategic Pay’s local Government Survey and New Zealand Remuneration Survey (March 2019) using the following markets:

·         Local Government – all organisations in the local government sector; and

·         Public Sector – only publically owned organisations in the national survey.

Their calculations, based on the existing job descriptions, suggest manager’s salaries should be in the $98,700 - $133,500 range depending on experience, performance and the importance of the individual to the organisation.

The total remuneration of comparable regional managers in Local Government was Median $116,215 and Public Sector Median $114,377.

In Fish and Game there is no national salary standard scale. Each region has decided for itself what it will pay its manager and staff. Some regions have done this “on credit”. Their salaries bills have exceeded their income year after year. This has been made possible by national council reallocating money from other regions to sustain them. They have been sustaining the unsustainable. Most licence holders who have discussed this situation with me had an expectation that grants to “beneficiary” regions would be for projects that enhance the angling or shooting opportunities and not, in the words of one commentator, “to enhance the manager’s lifestyle”.

The question has been asked why the regions who are subsidising the beneficiary regions’ managers continue to do so. That is the million dollar question. These beneficiary regions are employing staff "on credit".


For those who had Shakespeare forced upon them at school you may recall in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” where Marcellus, shaken by the many recent disturbing events and no doubt angered (as is Hamlet) by Claudius's mismanagement of the body politic, astutely notes that Denmark is festering with moral and political corruption. Horatio replies "Heaven will direct it", meaning heaven will guide the state of Denmark to health and stability.

Fish and Game’s National Council is not Hamlet’s Denmark, and corruption may be too hard a word, but it is festering with a culture of Geographical parochialism. For Claudius read “National Council”. Heaven is unlikely to direct it, but with luck the Ministerial Review and the Minister will.

Despite the imminent Ministerial Report the National Council has embarked on their own salary review, involving one national Councillor and two regional managers. As was quoted in the January newsletter this looks to many licence holders as if the “lunatics are running the asylum” (See January Newsletter). What the article said included:

Believe it or not?

The managers have taken over the role of determining their own salaries. Martin Taylor’s [previous CEO] efforts to bring some sense, with the Fore Consulting report, to this drain on our licence fees clearly upset the managers’ cartel:

·         One former national councillor put it like this “Several regions are owned and operated by their managers and pull salaries well in excess of market rates and they will do anything to protect that”.

·         Another was even less complimentary and said “As an employer myself I describe the process of letting the staff set their own salaries is a case of the lunatics taking over the asylum”.

·          A third current regional councillor advised me that “It is a case of National Councillors abdicating their responsibilities. Setting salary bands is a governance task; end of story, and as the national council is funded by licence holders the licence holders’ representatives should have the say on how much”.

·         A very reliable source has advised me that two of the managers of the regions bringing in the least revenue are in the very top salary band. At least one is reported as paid more than his region’s income.

You make up your own mind on the validity of these statements. Your comments on our website welcome.

you think. Do highly paid managers deliver the quality of angling that you feel that you deserve?

Is $185-195K/annum of your licence fee money, or even the mean figure of $128-133K, “nice if you can get it”,

“a fair rate of pay”, or

“bloody outrageous”?

We want your opinion! – Go to our website.


Weather or Not

Kia ora

I am writing to follow up on an email sent in December 2020, advising you that DOC was entering into a new weather forecasting partnership with NIWA.

This partnership will provide visitors and staff to key Public Conservation Lands & Waters (PCL&W), with the latest data in weather forecasting services.

On 2 March 2021, DOC’s official weather forecasting website goes live. Go to the DOC weather page on 2 March to access NIWA Parks Weather.

Some of the key information you will be able to access from the site is:

·       New Zealand’s highest resolution weather model (1.5km) which better captures Aotearoa’s complex terrain, allowing for a more detailed forecast with a higher accuracy.

·       Tailored video animation forecasts for each national park displaying the forecast weather conditions and river flows to be displayed at visitor centres.

·       Daily video presented by a NIWA meteorologist giving a national overview of the weather and any potential weather hazards. 

·       Links to MetServices Severe Weather Watch and Warnings and Mountain Safety Council’s Avalanche Warnings.

Accurate weather information is crucial to ensure people make informed decisions on safety undertaking activities on PCL&W.

DOC would appreciate if you could share this important information with your members, through your communications and social media channels.

As one of our valued stakeholders, we hope to have the opportunity to work with you to explore possible weather locations to be rolled out in the future, as we continue to develop the site.

We will be looking to start this work in the next few months.

If you have any queries, please email us at

Ngā mihi

Chris Bowen

Products, Standards and Policies Manager

Pou Aronga Taonga Tuku Iho/Manuhiri

Heritage and Visitors

Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai

Mobile – 0274083439



Quinnat salmon are now running freely at the mouth of the Rangitata River, and anglers are having great sport. About 20 anglers were out on Wednesday night and each rod was kept busy in hooking, playing and landing salmon up to 20 pounds in weight. Mr J. Pollock, who last week landed two beauties, caught during Wednesday night four green-eyed green-backed salmon, weighing respectively 14lb, 17lb, 19lb and 21lb.

Salmon in this river are now well established without a shadow of doubt, and anglers can be assured of good sport for the remainder of the season.

Otago Daily Times 1921

Recent Newsletters and the editors incoming emails have included a lot of comment about the Federated Farmers organisation. The following letter was forwarded to the Editor.  

Positive Fish and Game/ a Federated Farmers

Building Positive Working Relationship 


To:       Fish & Game Regional Council Chairs 

               Federated Farmers Provincial Presidents   

Positive Fish and Game/ a Federated Farmers Working Relationship

            You will be aware of the discussions Federated Farmers and NZ Fish & Game have been having at the national level.

We have been building a positive working relationship nationally where we can share information, discuss issues, identify and work on problems, and make a phone call when we perceive a need or have something to work on.

We are completely aware we will not agree on everything, but if and when we do disagree, we have agreed to do so with respect for each other's position, without acrimony and at all times seeking to understand and respect the other party's view. This is a start to repairing a positive working relationship — somewhat fallen into disrepair in recent times.

Both our National Councils commend the building of relationships between our respective organisations at a regional/provincial level. This will be particularly important not only with respect to regional and district plans but also in working together on on-the-ground initiatives involving local Fish & Game personnel, farmers and community groups.

To that end attached is a spreadsheet showing relevant contact details for you to follow up when you are able. We understand that many of you have already held productive regional/provincial meetings.

There has been 150 years of relationships between farmers, game bird hunters and anglers. Many lifelong friendships have been made. Sure, there are always hiccups, but in the big picture we see relating to each other as organisations sets the right kind of message for our members to do the same.

Kind regards

Ray Grubb                                                            Andrew Hoggard

Chair                                                                      National President

NZ Fish and Game Council                 Federated Farmers of NZ (Inc)

Modify your subscription    |    View online
Feds under the Bed.
In a letter to the Secretary these  questions were raised by Ray Grubb's "love affair" with Federated Farmers
Hi Rex,
  1. Were the region asked if they supported getting closer to the Feds?
  2. Did the NZ Council have an open debate about what impact this would have on public advocacy positions?
  3. What does this mean for litigation when the Feds are 'on the other side'?
  4. Does this mean NZC will be consulting with the Feds before putting out a press release?
  5. Is the NZC going to say anything negative about farmers who pollute?
  6. What about the rivers and lakes who are being polluted by farms currently are we going to take a hard line?
  7. Does this mean that regions cannot criticise dairy farming  or nitrate pollution? 
  8. What impact is the relationship with Feds going to imapct the long standing relationship with Greenpeace, Forest and Bird etc?
  9. Is Fish and Game still going to be considered an environmentally focused organisation?
Name withheld on request.
If you have the answers to these questions then send them in for posting on our website.


How good is a letter from an Old Foe? 

Remember the words of British PM Neville Chamberlain in 1938 after meeting with a fellow named Adolf.


Peace in our time!!!!   Yea right .....


Anglers and Citizens are getting miffed

By Peter Trolove



1.       The public of New Zealand are waking up to the mismanagement of our country’s freshwater by successive governments and councils.

2.       The sorry state of our rivers, lakes, and aquifers have become self-evident

3.        We are learning that fencing, landscaping, and weeding waterways does not mitigate nitrate pollution.

4.       We are learning to see through the advertorials and “alternative truths” promoted by the polluters.

5.       The public is becoming aware that their taxes and rates have been used to pay for the massive irrigation schemes that have created wealth for national and international landowners, banks, and milk processors while destroying our environment.

6.       The public has learned that abusive water policies has put the environment and public health of New Zealand at risk; and

7.       We have learned that our governments and regional councils are the problem and not the solution

The failure of the 4th Estate. The following link illustrates the spin the polluters are projecting to retain their social license to farm unsustainably. Playing the blame game on nitrates |

It is reassuring to read the large number of comments attached on Stuff’s website and learn the NZ public are not fools.

Aussie Aussie Aussie

It seems we must thank our trans-Tasman mates to put the story right. In February a TV crew from the high profile ABC Foreign correspondent program went into two weeks of COVID isolation in New Zealand to produce a story that should have been the role of the New Zealand media; Troubled Waters - Foreign Correspondent ( or see


Postings From the Website

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…

NZFFA Selwyn Water Zone Nitrate Results 9th March 2021
Coe’s Ford NZFFA water testing NO3-N mg/L Year Two 2020/21 Location Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Jollies Brook 0.77 0.74 0.71 0.76 0.81…

South Canterbury Trout and Salmon Fisheries Struggling
Opinion by Matthew Hall The following is a submission by former Fish and Game NZ chairman Matthew Hall to the Central South Island Fish and Game Council about the precarious state of…

Dig that Cicada Rhythm n Blues
It’s that time of year when the Cicada makes their circadian debut (yep pun intended) following a 17-year internment buried deep underground. Cicada give us a brilliant insight into the…

Environment Canterbury Rates Increase Shocking
by Dr Peter Trolove NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers NZFFA is appalled that the largest and best resourced regional council in New Zealand…

The Conservation Legacy of USA's John Muir
by Stephen Fox  1981  Perhaps the most legendary woodsman in American history, John Muir (1838 – 1914) was a Scottish-born naturalist, an eccentric nature lover who would set out for the…

Canterbury’s Water Story is Not a Happy one
by Dr Peter Trolove President NZ Federation Freshwater Anglers Introduction The following comments are the distillation of NZ media articles, relevant books and peer reviewed publications from New Zealand and…

Schubert's Trout Quintet
In the summer of 1819, 22-year-old Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and his friend were enjoying a walking tour in Upper Austria. Schubert found the environment “inconceivably beautiful” and it proved to be…

Trout farming economically unviable and potentially disastrous to NZ
News release    The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA), a national trout and rivers advocacy body, states that trout farming would be of no nett economic benefit to…

Millionaire Corporate Dairy Farm Given Right to More Water than Auckland
An exclusive Greenpeace investigation revealed that Wairakei Pastoral, a dairy company owned by a handful of millionaire rich-listers, has the right to take more water from the Waikato River than…