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Restoring clean flowing rivers is the goal of a national trout fishing advocacy the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA). NZFFA President Graham Carter of Hamilton at the organisation’s recent annual conference in Christchurch said clean and adequately flowing water in the public’s rivers must be restored.

“It is totally unacceptable that there are rivers once nationally revered trout fishing waters that were now summer dry and devoid of fish life such as Canterbury’s Selwyn River.”

“Habitat is the key. Without water there will be no trout, native fish or any life. And water needs to be not only clean but in adequate flow,” he said in his president’s report. In the face of the mantra of growth and more growth in the diverse areas of industry and agriculture, the previous National-led government, showed disrespect for the environment and rivers.

However he conceded the new government was showing encouraging signs of an improved and different culture with promises to clean up degraded rivers.

“The recent government announcement of ‘enough is enough’ as far as dairy cow numbers go is a challenge to the dogma of growth and more growth. It was an election issue,” he said.

The economic reality was major industries particularly corporates were solely profit motivated. “The public’s environment is secondary to them, too often not considered. They will do whatever it takes to ensure their shareholders get a dividend,” said Graham Carter. “But the public interest of clean water and flowing rivers and streams is more important.”

The Federation of Freshwater Anglers was, by its constitution, “apolitical”, i.e. no political party allegiances. “This has the potential to cause some angst but the reality is “politics in our sport is nothing more than cause and effect. We will call a spade a spade in returning rivers to being clean and flowing.”

Consumers were becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, and businesses that disregarded the environment did not like adverse publicity.

Contact: NZFFA President,

Graham Carter

021 026 00437