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The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers has set out a draft operational plan for the next three years which features a strong emphasis on restoration of river quality and flow, access and other needs.

Federation executive member Rex Gibson of Christchurch who was the principal architect of the plan said it was based around the fundamental function if the Federation to advocate in the best interests of freshwater anglers and river health of New Zealand. Federation president Graham Carter said changes were also required in the attitudes of bureaucrats and regional councils. “They have side-stepped issues for far too long ultimately leading to many of the environmental issues the public are facing today. Shortsightedness and the failure of Councils to protect our environment in their long term planning has allowed industry desecrate rivers and waterways. It could take many years to turn around."

He said the damage that had been caused to NZ's tourism and overseas trade had yet to be seen.

The Federation vision aims for:- Nationwide improvements in lake, river and stream water quality in terms of both human and ecological health and in river flow regimes, improved public access to freshwater fisheries, significant brakes and/or reversals to the commercialisation of angling activities which are of a detrimental nature to the health of the fishery and the enjoyment of its participants.

“This includes specifically the potential for trout farming,” said Rex Gibson.

Other objectives are the management of freshwater fisheries, including the quality of the angling experience and to lead and promote the dissemination and sharing of angling management information and issues amongst the participating clubs.


Among the Federation’s actions will be on-going development of its website, facebook page, and other social media. “The social media has become a major way of communicating particularly with younger generations,” said Mr Carter.

Contributions to printed media by way of letters and press releases will continue to be made. In its advocacy the Federation will proactively continue to seek and respond actively to key crucial issues relating to water, access and the other threats by way of publicity and submissions.

Data Base

A full data base of fishing clubs and relevant stakeholders is being developed and the Federation will actively build relationships with other related organisations.

In a radical move Federation membership fee was now free and anglers would be encouraged to join through the Federation website.

A new development will be to provide and fund a professional office and communication system to facilitate day by day operations.

Ethical Way

The plan would model and promote ethical standards in the Kaitiakitanga, or guardianship, of the traditional culture, values, and protocols around the recreational sport of freshwater fishing. “Where necessary the Federation will challenge those who contravene these both within the sport and in pursuit of commercial or political actions that threaten these,” said Mr Carter.

Contact: Graham Carter  021 026 00437