Now they are coming for your trout

Now, I know that there are a fair few anglers among Whaleoil readers, so, if you don’t already know about this, be prepared to be outraged. I did mention this bill in an article a few weeks ago about the dangers to the future of whitebaiting. But what I didn’t realise at the time was that this particular bill goes much further than protecting whitebait, and, if passed, will have a devastating effect on the fishing industry in the entire country. And don’t forget, as anglers come here from overseas to fish in our fabulous waters, this will also affect our lucrative tourist industry.

It seems that there is nothing this government will not do in their desire to return us to the Stone Age. Or maybe they just want to make everyone completely miserable. Yeah. That must be it.

NZ Fish and Game reports on this and is actively encouraging its members to lobby the government. It is of particular note that, at this point, Fish and Game have not been consulted about the changes proposed in the bill, even though they currently control all fishing permits. So, clearly, they are being deliberately cut out of all the proposals. quote:

The Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill aims to provide better protection for indigenous fish such as galaxids, whitebait, eels, bullies, torrent fish, mudfish and other species.

But the Bill also poses a serious threat to trout and angling.

It allows trout and salmon to be removed from particular rivers and lakes, even if they are significant trout and salmon fisheries.

It could see trout being part of Treaty of Waitangi settlements with iwi. end quote.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but trout are an introduced species, and as such, I assume Maori have no legal claim over them. They are not an ‘indigenous fish’. Maori are welcome to fish them, under the same rules as everyone else, but why on earth should this now become a part of Treaty settlements? quote:

The Bill also opens the possibility of allowing the sale of trout.

What can anglers do?

Fish & Game was not consulted on this Bill and it is vital anglers make their feelings known about it.

Write to the Prime Minister, other party leaders and your MP to tell them the Bill’s attack on trout is unacceptable. Advice on how to do this is here end quote.

Write to the prime minister? Excuse me while I laugh. That would be Jacinda Ardern, who is determined to sell us down the river? And yes – the pun was absolutely intended. This is a proposal from her Green friends. Writing to her will make absolutely no difference whatsoever.quote:

Fish & Game supports efforts to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.

However, that should not be at the expense of trout and other freshwater sports fish, nor the more than hundred thousand anglers who value these fish for the recreational, cultural and economic benefits they provide. end quote.

Nor the overseas anglers who come here and spend valuable tourist dollars during their visit here. But no one cares about that, do they? quote:

The Amendment Bill as it is now written contains several aspects which pose a threat to trout fishing in New Zealand.

Clause 5:

  • Clause 5 gives DoC’s freshwater fisheries management plans priority over Fish & Game’s fish and game management plans.
  • Clause 5 allows the Minister to adopt a national freshwater fisheries management plan which prevails over Fish & Game management plans.
  • Clause 5 would allow DoC to remove all trout and salmon from particular rivers or lakes, even if those waterways have been identified as significant trout and salmon habitat. This is likely to result in catchments where DoC, Iwi and regional councils can establish management regimes which exclude trout.
  • The Bill reduces Fish & Game’s right to be consulted as managers of sports fish to the same level as any member of the public.

Clause 6:

  • Clause 6 exempts anyone authorised under Treaty settlement legislation from restrictions on taking, possessing or selling sportsfish.
  • Clause 6 allows the Crown and iwi to set aside present rules as part of a treaty settlement.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of fishing rights.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of sports fish.
  • Clause 6 removes the requirement for occupiers of land to comply with trout fishing rules and regulations, although they would still need a licence.
  • Clause 6 opens up the potential for direct conflict between Treaty settlement legislation and sports fishing.

Clause 17:

  • Clause 17 revokes several existing regulations allowing Fish & Game to manage trout and other sports fish.
  • In particular, Clause 17 would no longer require a Fish & Game region’s consent for the release of fish or ova, or transfer of sports fish and ova between the North and South Islands.
  • The Bill reduces Fish & Game’s right to be consulted as managers of sports fish to the same level as any member of the public. end quote.

So all sports fishing will soon be under the control of government or iwi. We all know where this will end. Maori will have control of all fishing, regardless of whether or not the fish have been introduced, and have nothing to do with the Treaty at all.

After over 30 years of Treaty settlements, the rorting just gets worse and worse. If this bill goes ahead, it will mark the end of trout fishing in this country.

Just another piece of government control. Just another thing we will not be able to do. Read and weep, Kiwis. This is your world that is being destroyed.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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