NZFFA April 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) and Ian Rodger (Auckland) are automaticaly on the committee

Co-opted:  Alan Rennie (North Canterbury)

Sad News for NZFFA

One of our strongest advocates, supporter, Executive Member, Secretary and Newsletter Editor Rex Gibson QSM has tendered his resignation for private and personal reasons.

It is with deep regret we accepted it, but fully understand Rex’s reasons and wish him all the very best for the future from all at NZFFA – the Executive and Members alike.

Replacing Rex will be difficult if not impossible, so we hope that Rex is perhaps able to return to the fold again as things change in the future.

In the meantime Rex, take care and God speed.


Kia ora


If you haven't had a chance to watch Mike Bhana's riveting and disturbing documentary on the state of our fisheries, view it at

Why do we continue to allow our fish stocks to be ravaged so they can be exported for less than $3 per kilo? Surely as citizens of our great islands we ought to feed our families first.

Why do we continue to allow our fish stocks to be ravaged then exported for less than $3 per kilo? Surely as citizens of our great islands we need to be demanding the use of low impact fishing techniques so we can care for the environment while feeding our families first.

The Price of Fish is a documentary exposing many of the reasons why our fish stocks are declining and why our vulnerable sea birds and mammals are under threat. 


Alternate text


The Price of Fish


Watch on YouTube here.


The Price of Fish unpicks fisheries management, explains why your local commercial fisherman can't make a decent living from their hard work and talks to overseas experts about why tradable quota systems are bad for managing inshore marine environments. 

This is a hard hitting production from Mike Bhana of Wild Film. Mike has been producing, directing and shooting documentaries for the past 30 years. His work has featured in documentaries for Discovery, Animal Planet and National Geographic. 

The Price of Fish confirms the need for fisheries management reform and raises the spectre of a solution to the current degradation of our marine environment. 

Rescue Fish is an alternative to the Quota Management System designed specifically for New Zealand's environment. LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have spent two years focused on delivering this package that will benefit all New Zealanders. 

Whether you fish, dive, enjoy a seaside walk or love our marine mammals please take the time to:


1. Watch The Price of Fish

2. Support Rescue Fish to ensure an abundant future. 

3. Forward this on to your family and friends. 


Thank you

Trish and the LegaSea crew


Benefits of Membership.

To Individuals:

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, it’s free, and enjoy news of interest to fisherfolk from around the Country.

You should see the sign-up details pop-up on our homepage, or if not use

Sorry but individual Members do not have voting rights

To Clubs:

Currently the Federation makes no mandatory fees for Clubs, although as a voluntary body the Federation does have operational expenses. We hope Clubs can contribute towards. Our suggestion is a voluntary donation of 50c per Member.

In addition, Clubs may affiliate to the Federation at various financial support levels – Gold, Silver or Bronze. Equivalent to additional $150, $100 or $50 contributions.

Again these levels are voluntary, but will include links from our website to the Club’s.

By joining our numbers, you will receive greater representation at a National Level, and have input into how NZFFA policy is formed.

An application for membership can be made to the secretary by e-mail at

The legacy of the Ecan Act 2010 continues



Uncomfortable Truth For irrigation consent For Irrigation Consent | Newsroom

An important meeting was held in the Aurora Centre in Christchurch 7th April organised by Waikato environmentalist Angus Robson.

The primary focus of the meeting was the non-notified renewal of irrigation consents for the Mayfield Valetta Hinds irrigation scheme for the next 10 years presently before an independent commissioner.

The concerns are about the lack of democratic process, possible circumvention of the NPS FM August 2020 water quality standards, and an emerging recognition that Canterbury’s high nitrate levels in many shallow aquifers are a probable cause of the high colorectal cancer rates among rural Canterbury residents who must drink the polluted water.

Included among the speakers was a member of the Hinds Water Zone Committee, Forest & Bird, a GP who deals with patients with bowel cancer, a lawyer involved with the Belfast water bottling protests, and a medical researcher from Otago working on the probable link between colorectal cancer and nitrate in drinking water.

I was invited to speak for 8 minutes to give the perspective of a Canterbury angler.

There was a good attendance of around 200 people.

I was supported by several of the NZFFA executive. Others I recognised included the CEO and some councillors from North Canterbury F&G and a member of the South Canterbury Salmon Anglers Association.

Some irrigators from Ashburton travelled up for the meeting.

A recently elected Ecan Councillor was also in the audience.

The people of Canterbury are at last stirring as they are becoming aware that Canterbury has a growing and real water quality crisis that has been exacerbated by bad law; the Environment Canterbury Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management Act 2010, (Ecan Act), and it subordinate Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).

Together this legislation has removed many of the regulations and regulators from water management in Canterbury favouring the massive irrigation development that has occurred since 2010.

Environment Canterbury only returned to full democracy at the end of 2019. This council now faces an extremely difficult task if it is to face up to its obligation to manage the regions freshwater in a manner that maintains and enhances freshwater quantity, quality and ecosystems.

The present Chair and CEO are definitely more accessible to organizations such as NZFFA however in the view of the writer the Canterbury Regional Council is in need of a culture change. Either there is inadequate monitoring or Ecan is hiding the truth. Certainly Ecan’s record in terms of protecting the region’s freshwater environments is abysmal – little or no active monitoring or prosecutions. This was identified in a Cawthron Report into the success or otherwise of Canterbury’s “community collaboration” where zone committees of water users manage the region’s water.

My talk touched on Ecan’s poor performance and how the outcome is lost recreational fisheries and the probable extinction of an important species of native fish critical to the ecology of the river mouths of Canterbury’s large braided rivers.

Going Forward

The meeting has created growing interest from the media.

I have since been contacted by several reporters for future interviews &/or visits to observe the NAFFA’s nitrate testing.

A member of the South Canterbury Salmon Anglers Association and I are arranging to meet with a panel from DOC to discuss the plight of Stokell’s Smelt.

Canterbury’s single focus water management (irrigation) is a lesson for all regions.

The NZFFA urges all interested anglers and angling clubs to make their concerns known to politicians and councils throughout New Zealand. This issue is growing in momentum. We all drink water.

Peter Trolove


The True Joys of Trout Fishing

by Mark Karaba of Fishing Journal Index (USA)

 The true joys of trout fishing don't come easy. I oftentimes consider how mysterious and complicated fly fishing must appear to those who would try to sort it all out on their own. 

Or, to those who may have, at one time or another, picked up a magazine about fly fishing and thumbed through the photos of some happy angler in a handsome setting holding a trout. 

 Many, I suspect, have thought about how they would like to try the sport but seem intimidated by the 'gear' overload. To those not initiated into the world of fly fishing, it can be overwhelming indeed.

The worst thing that could happen to a person who is considering getting started in the sport would be to step into a high-end fly shop and check prices on fly rods, or to pick up a catalogue dedicated to fly fishing and try to sort out the overwhelming available rods, lines, leaders, flies, etc., etc.

Get a Mentor

To be serious about getting started, the beginner needs a mentor of sorts to help clear the path to better understand most importantly, what you do NOT need to get started.

The owner of the local sporting goods store was a patient and kind gentleman, and he trout fished. At some point, I purchased a fly rod from him. He must have realised that this purchase by me was, in my eyes, an entitlement to the answers of a thousand MORE questions by me!

In today's world, with all the information available at ones’ fingertips, the learning process has been made much easier.  

Fly fishing today, as with most things in today's world, can seem to be very technical. The truth is that nothing has changed at all. It is still about a fly rod, a fly line, a leader and a fly.

When you finally get to that point that you can cast a fly, catch trout occasionally, feel confident in your ability, and relax, then you can pause, look at the river and your surroundings. 

If the sun is shining and the trees and bushes are alive with birds, and the wildflowers are in bloom along the banks, then you will truly begin to see what all the fuss was about.         


Jest in Fun

Survey Shows Women Like Husbands to Go Fishing But for Different Reasons

By Zack Walton

There’s enough cobbly-wobbly advice given by wives to their trout fishing husbands but a survey has now shown why wives don’t need any advice. 

After all the Prime Minister is a woman Does she need advice? Better not answer that one.

However, we trout fishermen knew all along that wives, i.e women have us sussed. There’s a perception that non-fishing wives regard trout fishing with much inner amusement thereby adding a reason why women tend to giggle to themselves a lot. 

Others are inwardly impatient about it to the point of contempt.

But a new survey has given a deeper insight into the matter. The NZ Rehabilitation for Fishing Addicts Association has found only one wife of 987 surveyed disputed her husband’s right to fish and only one thought her husband fished too much.

Chief Head Shrink Dr Toby Black said the survey’s findings were startling in many respects.

One woman banned her husband from fishing. Before that, they fished together, she always catching more. Then one day he caught more than she did. She fumed. 

Then soon after, he caught a monster trout bigger than anything she had ever caught. She spat the dummy, cut his pocket money so he couldn’t buy any gear, forbade him using the car at all, in case he sneaked off fishing and sent in a letter of his resignation to the local trout fishing club.

“She packed a real hissy,” said Dr Black. “I was glad to see her out of my interview room.”

Pathetic Soul

Perhaps it was in the husband’s genes or stars but obviously, he wanted to be henpecked and bullied. The club’s better off without the poor, snivelling soul.

Yet all is not totally lost with the little pitiful persecuted pillock, for in a spark of resistance he sneaked off eeling with the local kids using their gear. In return, he umpired their soccer games. He was 75 and had run out of self-respect and dignity. But to the survey. It found 95 % of wives actually encouraged their husbands to go trout fishing. Psychological analysis of interviews showed the two starkly contrasting reasons were:-

  1. The wife likes her husband and thinks fishing is good for him and that it will add years to his life.

  2. The wife doesn’t like her husband and is glad to be rid of him as much as possible.

Further analysis of the second category showed a strong motivation that the wife encouraged her dear husband to spend whole days on the river, even a weekend away. The more time fishing, the less she had to put up with him at home.

A disturbing more advanced stage was the wife sent husband fishing in the hope that he would get pulled in by a big trout and would drown, would get tossed by an angry jersey bull and stomped on, would get lost and perish in a blackberry thicket or would meet an amorous milkmaid (like Izaak Walton the patron saint of angling did in the 17th century) and run away with her.

Trout Fishing For Idiots?

Further analysis showed only 1% openly thought trout fishing was for idiots. As one said, “There’s a fine line between going trout fishing and just standing with a pole and a bit of string tied to it.” But of the remaining 99%, over 50% thought while covertly thinking trout fishing definitely is for idiots, they would never admit it, as their husbands were better encouraged to be dabbling and dunking themselves in rivers than wandering the town streets or being a politician on the local council or worse still being a drone MP in the Beehive.

Thirty percent were indifferent, didn’t understand fishing or what their husbands did except they knew their men were away all day and always carried along with some kind of long tomato stake, some string and something that looked like a whirly-gig. The men always returned, mostly fishless, hot and sweaty and wanting a cool beer and comforting, unfortunately too tired to mow the lawns.

Bum Fishermen

Some wives were hard to classify. Eighty per cent felt their husbands were clumsy and bum fishermen but seemed happy for them to be trying. “Keeps him occupied out of harm’s way,” admitted one wife.

Only 5% felt their men were so hopeless they should give up trout fishing. Of the wives who fished too, 99.5% considered their selves far better trout fishers than their bumbling husbands. Only 0.5% reckoned their hubbies could out fish them.

Further analysis showed 80% felt their husbands were braggarts about their trout fishing, told grossly exaggerated stories about their days’ trout fishing, both in size of fish and number and suffered from the syndrome of “the big one got away,” and thus ought to quit fishing and be psychoanalysed by a head shrink.

This is all very confusing in many ways so I think I’ll go fishing and contemplate the findings – that is if the wife will let me.

Why don't you drink or gamble like other men?

Postings From the Website

Some of our more recent posts from the website (see

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
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Why are we subsidising harm?
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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…


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…



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.

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

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