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New fishing licences for ‘non-residents'

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19/8/2014

Fish & Game introduces new fishing licences for ‘non-residents’

Fish & Game New Zealand is launching new licences for overseas anglers who visit the country to fish for longer than a day or so.

The non-resident season licence (NRL) will cost $160 – a third more than Kiwis pay. The new licence is aimed in particular at the dedicated overseas angler who comes to New Zealand to fish for trout intensively for days, if not weeks.

Non-resident licences will be on sale for the new fishing season which begins October 1,2014, and must be purchased by any visitor from another country who wants to fish for trout for an extended period. 24-hour licences will still be available to them, but they’ll no longer be eligible for NZ adult whole season, family or winter licences.

If a non-resident is caught angling using anything other than an NRL or a 24-hour licence, they will be treated in the same way as an un-licenced angler. Prosecution could follow.

Fish & Game CEO Bryce Johnson says the non-resident licence has been introduced to ensure that such anglers pay their “fair share” towards the management of our fisheries.

“Non-residents have been getting a bargain - the benefit of a fishery they haven’t really paid for – compared with the Kiwi angler who has contributed to the ongoing management of fisheries both through fishing licence fees and taxes.

“Resident anglers who’ve bought licences over a number of years feel they’ve made a substantial and consistent contribution to the management of the fishery.

“They also make contributions over time through taxes and council rates to environmental research, freshwater ecosystem management, monitoring and public access.”

Mr Johnson says that up until now overseas anglers, who put pressure on New Zealand’s fragile back country fisheries, have had access to our world-class fisheries without really contributing to fishery management, or habitat protection such as Water Conservation Orders.

“So it’s not surprising that New Zealand anglers are really supportive of the increased fee for non-resident anglers.”

The additional revenue gained from the non-resident licence is ring-fenced to be used on back country fisheries – which are favoured by non-resident anglers.

Mr Johnson says the management of world-class back country fisheries is expensive, and issues such as crowding on some of these waters needs to be managed carefully to maintain the experience and the country’s reputation as an angling destination.

“All we’re doing now is bringing New Zealand in line with countries like the U.S. We are not penalising this group – we’re certain they’ll still find our trout fishing and outdoor experience excellent value for money.”

Mr Johnson notes that the new licences won’t impact on the tourist who plans a casual day’s fishing – as noted they will still be able to buy a 24-hour licence at no extra cost.


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