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Get Involved In Fish and Game Elections

Trout Federation Urges Anglers "Get Involved In Fish and Game Elections"

A national rivers and trout and salmon fishing advocacy has urged anglers to get involved in this year’s elections for Fish and Game Councils.

Three-yearly Fish and Game Council elections are due this year to elect councillors for the 12 Fish and Game regions which help manage freshwater fisheries and game bird hunting.

Candidate nominations open on Saturday 11 August and close at the end of the month. Any full season licence-holder is eligible to stand for election.

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers president Graham Carter of Hamilton said it was vital in the face of threats to the public ownership of fish and game resources and environment issues that the trout and salmon fishing public took a greater interest and involvement in the running of fish and game councils.

“The Federation fully supports the democratic structure of Fish and Game Councils but over the past decade there has been a disappointing and strong trend to indifference by the licence holder public to participating in elections in terms of both voting and nominating candidates,” he said. “Apathy is one of the biggest threats.”

Graham Carter said while fish and game legislation fully intended to prohibit charging for fishing and shooting rights, loopholes in the law had been exploited by commercial interests. Issues causing concern were demands for water for irrigation, pollution, leaching of nitrates and siltation from clear felling logging operations, loss of traditional access from farmland sales to foreigners, 1080 poison and others.

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“Fish and Game is the statutory management and advocacy for the licence holder public,” said Graham Carter. “Get in and make sure you qualify to vote from your local fish and game office and then vote. before that consider standing or nominate a likely candidate.”

In recent elections over the past decade some fish and game regions had received insufficient nominations to fill councillor seats.

“That’s an appalling situation. It;’s up to anglers to shrug off that indifference and give strength to fish and game councils in their battles for cleaner and restored rivers plus other matters of concern,” he said.


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