National’s conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says the review into Fish & Game needs to ensure the organisation’s focus returns to working in the best interests of anglers and hunters.
“Over recent years, there has been tension between Fish & Game and farming groups that has contributed to a rural-urban divide,” he said.
“Many prized fishing and hunting spots are on privately-owned farmland and there is a lot of goodwill between individual farmers and recreational hunters and anglers in negotiating access.”
Dean added that everyone needs to take responsibility for water quality.
“Playing the blame game and picking on one sector has been unfair, unhelpful, and needs to be addressed as part of this review.”
She said that disagreements had led to “major friction” with the organisation itself.
“The main objective for Fish & Game needs to be managing, maintaining, and enhancing sports fish and game birds’ habitats and ensuring that our hunters and fishers are being advocated for,” Dean said.
“I hope this review into Fish & Game can result in a culture that seeks to reduce the urban-rural divide and brings the organisation back to focusing on doing the best job possible for those who pay its levies.”
Fish & Game is a national body with 12 regional councils, established to represent the interest of anglers and hunters and provide coordination of the management, enhancement, and maintenance of sports fish and game.
The government expects Fish & Game NZ to oversee the effective management of the country’s sports fish and game resources carried out by 12 regions.
Each region conducts its own field of operations. However, the national body, comprising members appointed by each of the regional bodies, is responsible for setting national policy.
-”Fishing and Outdoors” paper.