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Letter to Regional F&G Councils
Feb 12th, 2011 at 3:09pm
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The following has been sent to all regional Fish&Game Councils. We will keep you informed of who replied, and what they said. Smiley

28 January 2011

The Chairman
All Fish and Game Councils

Dear Sir,

As a result of strong and widespread expressions of concern from our members, the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers wishes to address the issue of the exclusive capture of freshwater fisheries.

We regard exclusive capture as a situation where commercial operators buy (or landowners sell) access to fisheries(1), so that only their clients can fish particular stretches of rivers or lakes. We do not advocate any form of ‘wander at will’ access to fisheries, but do advocate the respect of private property rights, and the application of the Walking Access Commission Code of Practice.

Having said that, we also acknowledge that freshwater fisheries are a public resource, funded and managed entirely from license sales, by Fish & Game NZ. The sale of the right to fish is illegal under Section 26zn of the Conservation Law Reform Act, and we regard the above situation, where only clients of commercial operators who have ‘arrangements’ with landowners (and not ordinary license-holders) can fish certain water, as contrary to the intent, if not the letter, of this law.

As part of our scoping of this problem, we are seeking the following information:
1.      Does your Council have a stated policy or stance on exclusive capture?
2.      What, if any, instances of exclusive capture are you aware of within your F&G Region?
3.      What process, if any, does (or would) your Council use to address any such instances of exclusive capture?
4.      What process, or processes, would your council like to use to address any instances of exclusive capture, which you currently feel unable to do?

We appreciate you taking the time to respond to these questions, and believe that we are both addressing the same issue, namely the egalitarian access to a public resource which all license-holders fund, and which you are charged with managing.

We hope that we can work together to address this issue, which as we stated, is of great and grave concern to our members. We assure you that we will oppose and fight the continued and increasing locking up of fisheries for private commercial gain, on behalf of our members, until it is resolved in their favour.

For more information, please visit our website at:

Yours sincerely,

Jim Hale
President, NZFFA

1      Such financial arrangements may be overt or covert, advertised or unstated, or disguised as part of a ‘package’ (eg. Accommodation).

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