The Fish and Game organisation that administers and manages the public’s trout and salmon fishing and game bird shooting and currently subject to a government review, has been given a “thumbs up” from an outdoor recreation council.
Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations’ chairman Andi Cockroft in a submission to the review panel said the council fully supports the democratic structure of Fish and Game whereby representatives are elected by licence holders.
“It’s user pays, user says,” he added.
The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) is an advocate for the common interests of “the million plus” New Zealanders who fish, shoot, hunt, tramp, ski, canoe, climb, walk, mountain bike, botanise, photograph or relax in New Zealand’s great outdoors. An important sector being fish and game licence holders.
He said governments had tried to gain control of fish and game and its predecessor acclimatisation societies, on several occasions over a century or more. To be under state control via a department would be totally wrong and draconian.
It should be totally independent of government departments and particularly in the case of the
Department of Conservation, conducting the review.
“Indeed in terms of any review, DoC is an agency needing searching scrutiny as to its policies and tendency to ideological bent as regards o-called introduced species like trout and game animals,” he said.
Nevertheless CORANZ said there a number of areas where Fish and Game could improve its performance such as remedying a lack of open communication with license holders and fairer allocation of licence money to regions.
The review is timely and welcomed, he said.