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Mataura River - a premium brown trout fishery

In the early 1980's the Acclimatization Societies of Otago and Southland were becoming concerned about the possibility of a hydro‐dam on the Mataura River (which at that time formed the boundary between the two regions).

Accordingly they instituted a research programme to document the status of the Mataura and its tributaries as premium brown‐trout fisheries. The field work, which took five years to complete, was carried out by Acclimatisation Society staff, co‐ordinated by Dave Witherow, and supervised by Dr. Donald Scott, of the University of Otago.

A comprehensive report on this work, published in December 1984, then became the foundation document for the Societies application for a National Water Conservation Order.

The Order, was eventually granted in July 1997, specifically prohibits damming of the Mataura, and includes comprehensive provisions for the preservation and protection of the fisheries comprising the entire Mataura system.

All other uses (including water abstraction) thus became secondary to the preservation of the fishery.

The granting of a Commercial Rafting Consent flies in the face of this Conservation Order.

It is one individual, Philip Joostens, having the consent to put up to 12000 rafters, who feasibly could be fishermen on the Mataura and Oreti Rivers in one year.

They will be floating down stream, disturbing fishermen in pursuit of the elusive brown trout and defying the etiquette of the river.

Gore is about the the Mataura River and the Mataura River is about Gore and the Brown Trout.

Will it be goodbye to Gore's Iconic Brown Trout Statue proudly displayed in the main street of Gore and replacing it by a Large 8 man Raft?

When Marcus Roy, from the SDC in his reply to letters requesting that Philip Joostens Rafting Concession application be publicly notified he stated:

"Just because you think you’re an affected party doesn’t mean you are or you that have the right to be heard."

All NZ Southern Rivers is asking for the basic democratic right of Anglers to be heard by the

withdrawal of Philip Joostens consent and making it publicly notified.

Isn't this what the Resource Management Act is all about?

To do this NZ Southern Rivers is asking for your support.