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Recreational fishers get "hotline" to government

Recreational fishers get "hotline" to government

A new group made up of recreational fishing experts will have a direct line to government, says Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope.

The group, which has been drawn from around the country, will help advise the Minister as progress is made on a number of strategic issues facing the recreational fishing sector. These include consideration of how the sector’s long-term interests are best managed; issues concerning the representation of recreational fishing sector; and the development of capacity to participate more fully in fisheries management.

“The establishment of the Recreational Fishing Ministerial Advisory Committee recognises the importance of recreational fishing to New Zealanders,” says Mr Benson-Pope. "This will be a 'hotline' for getting rec fishers views.

“The government believes recreational fishers must be able to participate in decisions about the management of New Zealand’s fisheries. This group, along with the regional recreational fishing forums being established by the Ministry of Fisheries, will ensure that the interests of recreational fishers are well represented."

The members of the committee are: Peter Ellery, of Rotorua Sheryl Hart, of Raglan Max Hetherington, of Wellington Lorraine Hill, of Russell Bob Meikle, of Christchurch Geoff Rowling, of Upper Moutere Kim Walshe, of Auckland (Biographical information is attached.)

“I was very pleased with the large number and high calibre of applications for membership of the committee,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

"The government will be well advised by a group with such a depth of knowledge and experience. These people will bring a wealth of skills and experience to the table and I look forward to working closely with them.”

Mr Benson-Pope will be speaking at the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council Conference on Friday in Wellington.

Peter Ellery: Peter Ellery has been involved in recreational marine fishery representation since 1992. He has been the Vice President of the Marine Recreation and Fishers Association for Bay of Plenty and Waikato, and has been involved with the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC), and the National Rock Lobster Management Group. Peter is currently involved with Maketu Taiapure in local fisheries management and environmental repair of the Kaituna River wetlands. He lives in Rotorua.

Sheryl Hart: Sheryl Hart is secretary and life member of the Raglan Sport Fishing Club and secretary of the Kawhia/Raglan Radio User Group. She is a regional representative for the NZRFC and the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and is involved with local working groups and recreational fisheries research. She lives in Raglan.

Max Hetherington: Max Hetherington is the Secretary, Manager and Financial Controller of the NZRFC, the President and Treasurer of Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers Association, and recreational representative on the National Rock Lobster Management Group. He is a life member of the New Zealand Underwater Association, Wellington Underwater Club, and NZRFC. He lives in Wellington.

Lorraine Hill: Lorraine Hill has a long association with the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club and is a member of the Waikare Inlet Taiapure Management Committee. She is the director of a hotel company, and Councillor on the Northland Regional Council.

Lorraine is involved with a number community groups and was awarded a QSM in 1995 for services to local government and tourism. She lives in Russell.

Bob Meikle: Bob Meikle is the President of Akaroa Harbour Recreational Fishing Club, a member of Pohatu Marine Reserve Management Committee, and is involved with a number of local organisations dealing with Akaroa Harbour issues such as pollution. He is based in Christchurch.

Geoffrey Rowling: Geoff Rowling is the vice president of the NZRFC and Chairman of the Challenger Scallop and Finfish Recreational Advisory Groups. Geoff is involved both locally and nationally with fishing groups and is keen on seeking innovative solutions to the issues facing recreational fishing. He lives near Motueka.

Kim Walshe: Kim Walshe has more than 10 years experience working with recreational fishing groups (NZRFC and Option 4) and the Ministry of Fisheries on a range of issues. A former scientist and senior manager for the Ministry, he has completed a number of recreational fishing research contracts for the Ministry and continues to do research.

He is completing a PhD, part of which is on marine recreational fisheries, and is a keen scuba diver and instructor. He lives in Auckland.

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