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Feds Muddy The Waters Over Lowland Rivers

PRESS RELEASE: 11th June, 2001



Federated Farmers President , Alistair Polson’s latest attack on Fish & Game N.Z. has badly missed its mark , Alan McMillan, the President of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers said today .

Mr Polson has called for a public accounting of Fish & Game N.Z. for its proposed use of “public funds” ( both reserves and increased licence fees) to fight the causes of lowland river degradation .

Mr McMillan said “ For Mr Polson’s information Fish & Game N.Z. does not have access to “public” funds . Its reserves , and current licence fees were and are totally provided by licence holders –no public contribution ,--no Government contribution ,-- and certainly no contribution from Federated Farmers . Fish & Game N.Z. are therefore quite rightly accountable to its licence holders , and they would give almost unanimous approval for Fish & Games tougher stand on water degradation .

Although sometimes critical of Fish & Games perceived low profile, non confrontational , educational approach to finding solutions to New Zealands rapidly developing disaster in its lowland rivers , the Federation publicly and wholeheartedly supports them on their new constructive and positive approach .

The funding issue which Mr Polson highlights is an irrelevant diversion from the real issue which he attempts to minimise .

Trout Anglers for many years have been complaining that degradation of our waterways was accelerating and moving towards a crisis .

Those organisations , both national and regional , in whom authority is vested to monitor and police the obvious problems, have been woefully lacking in their support of those complaints , with the inevitable result.

Fish & Game N.Z. did not create this problem and all thinking New Zealanders will support their stand on this issue .

It is indeed a national disgrace that Fish & Game N.Z. now finds a need to take the action that it has , at the expense of licence holders , in an effort to protect the right of all New Zealanders to a clean unpolluted natural water resource .

We are fortunate that by far the majority of the farming community have a completely responsible attitude to the environment in which they work , and live,-- but that small number who cant or wont listen have ignored the soft approach for far too long and deserve any public castigation they receive .

Trout Anglers are not ignorant of rural ways – or insensitive to rural problems . We spend our recreational time in the country – many farmers are members of our fishing clubs ; indeed our immediate Past President is a respected and successful dairy farmer ( and an ex member of Federated Farmers ).

We can only implore Mr Polson to stop hiding behind his misdirected rhetoric and publicly support Fish & Games valued efforts to clean up our waterways .


Contact: Alan McMillan , President, Federation of Freshwater Anglers Inc ph/fax 03 489 8284


Ken Sims E-Mail: Phone (06) 356 9402, Fax: (06) 356 9404 63 Maxwells Line, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Ken Sims - Web site: Research Officer, New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, Inc Executive member, Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ)

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