(special report)

The NZ Outdoors Party has alerted the freshwater fishing and duck shooting public to an attempted government takeover of Fish and Game. Alan Simmons, President and Co-Leader of the NZ Outdoors Party said the proposals if implemented will spell the end of 130 years of anglers and hunters managing the resource.

“It will be the beginning of Government control over the resources and will allows organisations with other agendas to hamstring Fish and Game management and policy and eventually degrade it to a government department. In my opinion this is the end of Fish and Game unless outdoor sporting public fight it,” he said.

He urged Fish and Game licence holders to help to build up a fighting fund in case a judicial challenge was needed.

The predecessor to Fish and Game was the Acclimatisation Society movement started in 1860 when settlers sought to escape the UK feudal system where most were denied access to fish and game as the resources were considered the property of the wealthy gentry. 

“It was a dream of the early settlers to  create an egalitarian society where all persons could enjoy the sports no matter their personal wealth.”  

In 2020 after intensive lobbying pressure by groups opposed to Fish and Game especially over the “dirty dairying” campaign the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced that she would undertake a review saying it was a governance issue and not a review of Fish and Game statutory functions.  

But Alan Simmons said the actual terms of reference as published at the beginning of the final report are far from that.

“The minister’s assurance was false,” he said.

“Anglers and game bird hunters need to strenuously oppose these changes. They will gut this traditional organisation of its history and it’s very essence where sports-people for over a century, have funded and managed the resource for all New Zealanders to enjoy,” he said. 


<c> Alan Simmons –  fish and game public need to fight government threat

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  1. Alan+Rennie says:

    Great writeup Alan ,
    My concern has always been more on the F@G water Quality issue and what F@G do about that,
    After looking at the WCOs it transpires that F@G can halt any further water degridation by stopping any further water takes when they come up for renewel,
    In the “Protecting New Zealand’s Rivers”
    Table of contents Previous section Chapter Next section
    As a national instrument to protect values deemed to be nationally outstanding, WCO have a high place in the hierarchy of RMA regulation. Gazetted by Order in Council, they are government regulations. Councils must ensure that their regional policy statements and regional or district plans are not inconsistent with the provisions of any WCO.

    A WCO acts in a similar way to operative regional plan rules by constraining the regional council’s discretion in managing the water body. It restricts regional council powers to the extent necessary to maintain the outstanding characteristics of a river in their current quality or quantity.

    WCOs that were gazetted under the WSC Amendment Act may also have the effect of controlling activities on the beds of rivers and lakes.77 Despite their gazettal under the old legislation, they are still operative today and continue unless they are changed through provisions in Part 9 of the RMA.

    Resource consents granted after a WCO is in place must not be contrary to any restriction, prohibition or other provision in the WCO. A WCO does not affect existing resource consents until these expire and replacement consents are sought, nor existing lawful use established before the WCO was gazetted. For example, the flow regime in the Rangitata River WCO enables the Rangitata Diversion Race Limited to continue to take a third of the river’s mean flow for its irrigation scheme and hydro generation at Highbank.

    Taking water for the reasonable domestic needs of an individual, or for the drinking needs of their stock, are allowed by the RMA and are not affected by a WCO.

    77 The Rakaia WCO for example prohibits the granting of water permits that facilitate agricultural encroachment into the protected waters.

  2. Dr. Charlie Baycroft says:

    Perhaps modern people have forgotten the history of how and why these special species were brought to New Zealand.

    They were brought here through the independent efforts of independent people for the benefit of everyone.

    As you remind us, the introduction of these species was a gift to all of the people so that they could hunt and fish for sustenance or recreation like only the wealthy people in Europe were allowed to.

    This equality of access to fish and game has been one of the outstanding advantages of life in NZ but it is now seriously threatened.

    People in our government have progressively restricted our freedom to hunt and fish on public lands, “health” legislation has reduced the access we used to have to farmed land and the trend to paying to hunt on private land is growing rapidly.

    The species brought here for everyone’s benefit are also under threat of eradication by people in our government who have classified them as “pests”.

    The management of DOC and other government enterprises fancy themselves as big businesses now and increasingly seek more revenue.

    Our land is now called “DOC’s Land” and few people seem to disagree.

    The potential revenue that DOC can generate from the natural resources they control is enormous and they seem to be keen to do this at the expense of the actual owners ALL OF US.

    It will not be long until access to the land and resources that we all actually own will be restricted to only those who can afford top pay.

    Unfortunately, most Kiwis will not recognize what is happening until it is too late.

    Oh, well, It was good while it lasted.

  3. phil watts says:

    sorry i don’t believe in your fictional corporate east india company renamed ‘government’.

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