The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations has deep concerns over a government bill which if passed, will replace the controversial Resource Management Act.
“This bill attacks the very essence of the public ownership of fish and game resources in New Zealand,” said CORANZ spokesman Tony Orman.
CORANZ’s opposition followed a very recent press release in which Fish and Game NZ deplored the bill and expressed “extreme concern”.
“Trout and salmon fishing, duck and game bird shooting are fundamentally public sports in line with the ethos, introduced by early European settlers, of an egalitarian society of equal opportunity for all”, he said. “I believe New Zealand was founded by people who had deliberately abandoned a feudal society built on privilege and a pecking order to establish one based on social equality and opportunity for all.”
The proposal in Minister David Parker’s bill is to abandon the valued recognition of trout and salmon – the fish introduced by early European settlers – by removing the protection of habitat vital to these fish (and game) resources.
Major Public Sports
Fishing and hunting are major participant sports with an estimated 300,000 enjoying freshwater trout and salmon fishing and duck and game bird shooting.
Tony Orman said he found the bill promoted by the Minister for the Environment David Parker at odds with the minister’s reported interests in tramping and fly fishing for trout.
He also recalled several years ago, the minister and a Labour MP Megan Woods campaigning on a video extolling the need for restoring rivers to quality ample flows to enable New Zealanders to enjoy outdoor recreation such as fly fishing for trout.
“Yet here in 2023 is the same minister advocating legislation which will essentially remove the protection of trout and salmon habitat. Those electioneering words from that 2017 video have a strong echo to to them, i.e. hollow promises,” said Tony Orman.
He praised Fish and Game NZ’s alertness and energy in publicly exposing the government alarming proposed laws.
Tony Orman – fishing and hunting are truly public sports.
Government RMA moves endanger that “public ownership”