Outdoor Council Backs Fish And Game Under Threat
The beleaguered Fish and Game organisation under threat by the Department of Conservation and the Minister of Conservation of a review has received strong backing from the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ).
CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft said the fish and game organisation and its predecessor acclimatisation societies had long been firm environmental advocacies for retaining and restoring wetlands and protecting the public’s rivers.
“All this has been achieved at no cost to the taxpayer as Fish and Game is funded entirely by licence money from the freshwater angling and duck and game bird hunting public,” he said.
“What’s more regional Fish and Game councils are elected by three yearly elections, a democratic process that would not exist if a government department like the Department of Conservation was in charge of fish and game resources.”
CORANZ’s support for Fish and Game follows a “Stuff” article which reported “government was planning an independent review of Fish and Game, following perceived internal strife and a looming financial crisis (caused by Covid-19) that has the group in disarray.”
Andi Cockroft said the inaccuracies of the article aside, it was ironic the Department of Conservation and minister were initiating a review when the department’s record was weak on such issues as river quality and flow advocacy. The department was better known for its poison policies which have resulted in the disappearance of game birds such as the high country chukor and quail.
“Government needs to know the policies required to sustain the large and socially important sports of fishing and hunting are the prerogative of the user. not some back-room bureaucratic boffins who have never held a rifle, or a gun or rod in his life, nor understands the ethics and field rules and recreational values of fish and game,” he said.