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Under-threat Rakaia River WCO Protection Status Is A National Issue

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA) is participating a major effort to maintain the integrity of the Water Conservation Order (WCO) for the Rakaia River in the wake of Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) alleged neglect of the WCO protection thereby allowing Manawa (formerly TrustPower) to store water for on-going selling for irrigation.

Retiring NZFFA president Dr. Peter Trolove said Ecan had failed and thereby had put the value of WCOs under threat. egulations, monitoring and enforcement provides lessons for other other regions of New Zealand ,” he said in his president’s report.

Water Conservation Orders are akin to the protection given wilderness areas by the status of National Parks. NZFFA is a party to legal action to challenge Ecan’s failure to uphold the Rakaia River’s WCO.

“This is a test case,” he said. “This is an important project to see through for the sake of all other WCOs and New Zealand anglers’ trout and salmon fisheries,” said Peter Trolove.

Also challenging Ecan is Fish and Game NZ, Environmental Defence Society and the New Zealand Salmon Anglers’ Association.

Other rivers with WCO protection are Mohaka River, Manganuioteao River, upper Rangitikei River, Lake Wairarapa, Motueka River, Buller River, upper Grey River, Rangitata River, Lake Ellesmere, Ahuriri River, Mataura River, Oreti River, Kawerau River. Under application for WCOs are Te Waikoropupu Springs (Golden Bay) and Ngaruroro River.

Peter Trolove stressed the importance of the Federation saying there is a very real need for an independent advocacy body fighting for freshwater angling public’s interests, with the freedom to speak out without political pressures from governments or the Department of Conservation.

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Officers elected for the coming year were:-

President Casey Cravens (Dunedin)

Immediate past president: Peter Trolove (Rangitata)

Secretary/Treasurer: David Haynes (Nelson)

Executive: Jason Foord (Auckland), Grant Henderson (North Shore), Brett Bensemann (Dunedin), Charlie Baycroft (Christchurch), Margaret Adams (West Coast) Paul Hodgson (Christchurch), Peter Bragg (Christchurch), Andi Cockroft (Wellington).

Life Members - attached to committee:- Tony Orman (Marlborough), Sandy Bull (Gisborne), Ian Rodger (Auckland), Ken Sims (Palmerston North)

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