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September 2018

F&G NZ on the threat to trout and fishing from the proposed Conservation Act Amendment

Resource material from F&G NZ on the threat to trout and fishing from the proposed Conservation Act Amendment
  1. Trout are a valuable resource
  2. The threat to trout posed by the Bill
  3. What you can do:
    • Tell Political Leaders what you think
    • Making a Submission
    • Tell your MP what you think
      1. What to say
      1. Draft letter
Trout are a valuable resource
TROUT FACTS
Trout and other sports fish provide significant recreational, health, environmental and economic benefits to New Zealand as a whole.
  • More than 110 thousand people buy trout fishing licences every year
  • Anglers are from all walks of New Zealand life
  • Fishing puts food on the table of average Kiwi family
  • Fishing provides relaxation and exercise, contributing to physical and mental health and
    wellbeing
  • Trout are an iconic species which provides economic, cultural and health benefit
  • Trout benefit the environment through Fish & Game’s advocacy work
  • ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF TROUT
  • Trout provide a significant economic boost to regional economies.
  • Trout contribute significantly to tourism revenue, international and domestic
  • Cawthron Institute put the value of trout angling in 1991 at up to a quarter of a billion
    dollars – that’s $400 million today. But Cawthron says that value may even be higher in
    2018 as the trout industry has grown significantly since 1991
  • New Zealand’s brown trout fishing is regarded as one of the world’s best, attracting big
    spending international anglers.
  • New Zealand is one of the “must fish” destinations on these wealthy anglers’ itineraries.
  • An industry has developed to service the hunger to fish for trout – guides,
    accommodation, lodges and helicopter services all provide jobs
  • Many of these jobs are in regions where unemployment is higher
  • Business activity by sports retail stores and fishing tackle manufacturers provides jobs
    and a boost to the economy

ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE OF TROUT

  • Trout need clean water – native fish need clean water
  • Trout are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to spotlighting environmental harm
    caused by human activity
  • Falling trout populations and dirty streams and rivers have raised alarm bells about the
    impact of industrial farming
  • Money from trout licences has been used to fight for clean water and protect the
    environment
  • Fish & Game has spent millions of dollars raised from trout licence sales on scientific
    research and legal battles to protect the environment
  • Trout dollars have protected rivers and lakes through Water Conservation Orders – 12 out
    of 15 existing Water Conservation Orders have been secured by Fish & Game
  • This work and advocacy protects migratory galaxids
  • Recent drift dives in Marlborough’s Waihopai and Branch rivers show Canterbury
    galaxids and brown and rainbow trout living side by side – the key difference is that these
    rivers are not subject to intensive farming
  • Fish & Game’s statutory responsibility to manage trout has made it this country’s most
    active, committed and successful environmental organisations. This benefits the environment and native species.
  • ACTUAL SOURCE OF THREAT TO NATIVE FISH
  • Despite public perception, experts say the galaxid species in the whitebait fishery are not endangered, nor has their extinction risk been assessed.
  • Human activity is the real threat to native fish
  • Research shows a 50-90% reduction on native fish distribution within their study range,
    due to “intensive agricultural land use downstream
  • This harmful environmental degradation can be caused by seen industrial farming,
    draining of wetlands, blocking and diverting stream and river flows, irrigation, excessive fertiliser and nitrogen run off into waterways, sedimentation from poor primary industry activity and inadequate sewage treatment
  • Uncontrolled commercial harvest of whitebait has an impact on indigenous freshwater fish populations
  • TROUT’S PLACE IN NEW ZEALAND CULTURE
  • Trout have been in New Zealand for more than 150 years
  • They are deemed to be a desirable ‘naturalised’ introduced species protected by New Zealand law.
  • Trout’s desirable species classification stems from its cultural, economic and recreational value.
  • Long tradition of trout fishing in New Zealand
  • Trout provide food, recreation and connection with the outdoors with physical and mental
    health benefits
  • The value of trout is legally recognised through statutory protection under the
    Conservation Act and Freshwater Fisheries Regulations.
  • The threat to trout posed by the Bill
  • WHAT ARE THE THREATS TO TROUT AND ANGLING IN THE INDIGENOUS FRESHWATER FISH AMENDMENT BILL?
  • The Amendment Bill seeks to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.
  • These fish species include whitebait, also known as galaxids, eels, bullies, torrent fish, mud fish and others.
  • The full detail of the amendment bill can be found here; http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2018/0087/latest/LMS73110.html
  • Fish & Game supports efforts to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.
  • However, that should not be at the expense of trout and other freshwater sports fish, nor the more than hundred thousand anglers who value these fish for the recreational, cultural and economic benefits they provide.
  • The Amendment Bill as it is now written contains several aspects which pose a threat to trout fishing in New Zealand.
  • The Amendment Bill seeks to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.
  • These fish species include whitebait, also known as galaxids, eels, bullies, torrent fish, mud fish and others.
  • The full detail of the amendment bill can be found here; http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2018/0087/latest/LMS73110.html
  • Fish & Game supports efforts to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.
  • However, that should not be at the expense of trout and other freshwater sports fish, nor the more than hundred thousand anglers who value these fish for the recreational, cultural and economic benefits they provide.
  • The Amendment Bill as it is now written contains several aspects which pose a threat to trout fishing in New Zealand.
  • Clause 5:
  • Clause 5 gives DoC’s freshwater fisheries management plans priority over Fish & Game’s fish and game management plans.
  • Clause 5 allows the Minister to adopt a national freshwater fisheries management plan which prevails over Fish & Game management plans.
  • This is despite both plans having the same legal status under the Act.
  • Clause 5 would allow DoC to remove all trout and salmon from particular rivers or lakes, even if those waterways have been identified as significant trout and salmon habitat. This is likely to result in catchments where DoC, Iwi and regional councils can establish management regimes which exclude trout.
Clause 6:
  • Clause 6 exempts anyone authorised under Treaty settlement legislation from restrictions on taking, possessing or selling sportsfish.
  • Clause 6 allows the Crown and iwi to set aside present rules as part of a treaty settlement.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of fishing rights.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of sports fish.
  • Clause 6 removes the requirement for occupiers of land to comply with trout fishing rules
    and regulations, although they would still need a licence.
  • Clause 6 opens up the potential for direct conflict between Treaty settlement legislation
    and sports fishing.
  • Clause 17:
  • Clause 17 revokes several existing regulations allowing Fish & Game to manage trout and other sports fish.
  • In particular, Clause 17 would no longer require a Fish & Game region’s consent for the release of fish or ova, or transfer of sports fish and ova between the North and South Islands.
  • The Bill reduces Fish & Game’s right to be consulted as managers of sports fish to the same level as any member of the public.

  • What YOU can do:
  • Tell Political Leaders what you think
  • TELLING THE PRIME MINISTER AND POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS WHAT YOU THINK
  • Public support and a positive profile are important to all politicians who are constantly assessing the political risk and potential fallout of any decision they make.
  • As a result, they are always sensitive to unpopular or controversial legislation, so it pays to let them know what your views are. Write a letter to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and tell her you are unhappy with the threat to trout and your recreational angling posed by the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill.
  • Public support and a positive profile are important to all politicians who are constantly assessing the political risk and potential fallout of any decision they make.
    As a result, they are always sensitive to unpopular or controversial legislation, so it pays to let them know what your views are. Write a letter to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and tell her you are unhappy with the threat to trout and your recreational angling posed by the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill.
Also write letters to the leaders of the other two parties which make up the present coalition government and tell them of your opposition to the Bill.
The leaders of those parties are Winston Peters of New Zealand First and James Shaw or Marama Davidson are co-leaders of the Greens.
If you are member of the Labour, NZ First or Greens parties, tell the leaders and say that you are unhappy with the way the Amendment Bill threatens trout, your angling and undermines Fish & Game.
If you voted for Labour, NZ First or the Greens, tell the leaders you have supported them in the past but warn they can’t count on your vote if the Amendment Bill goes through as it presently stands.
The National Party is the main Opposition party, so write to National’s leader Simon Bridges and tell him of your unhappiness with the Amendment Bill and ask him to change it.
Sending a letter to the party leaders is easy and you don’t have to buy a stamp to do it as any correspondence to a politician is free of charge.
The address to write to the leaders is;
Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

You can also email your concerns to the Party leaders.
Labour Jacinda Ardern j.ardern@ministers.govt.nz
New Zealand First Winston Peters w.peters@ministers.govt.nz
Greens James Shaw
j.shaw@ministers.govt.nz,
Marama Davidson Marama.Davidson@parliament.govt.nz
National Party Simon Bridges simon.bridges@parliament.govt.nz
ACT
David Seymour david.seymour@parliament.govt.nz



MAKING A SUBMISISON TO A SELECT COMMITTEE
A Parliamentary Select Committee is an important part of the democratic process and law making.
It is where proposed laws are scrutinised and debated by the Members of Parliament who sit on the committee. It is a chance to fix any mistakes, oversights or omissions in the draft legislation and avoid any unintended consequences if it was introduced.
More importantly, it provides the opportunity for any New Zealander to have their say on a proposed piece of legislation by making a submission. This ensures MPs are fully informed about the impact the new law they are considering will have on the public.
It also provides them with an opportunity to see how popular or unpopular a new law is and gauge any potential political backlash.
These submissions are made in writing but anyone who is making a submission can also ask to make a verbal presentation to the Select Committee.
Submissions on the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill are now open and close on October 25.
Parliament’s website contains detailed advice on making a submission to a Select Committee.
https://www.parliament.nz/media/2019/makingasubmission2012-2.pdf
Here is the link to the Environment Select Committee and the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill.
https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a- submission/document/52SCEN_SCF_BILL_79000/conservation-indigenous-freshwater-fish- amendment-bill
A template for making a submission is here;
https://www.parliament.nz/en/ECommitteeSubmission/52SCEN_SCF_BILL_79000/CreateSubm ission
The full text of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill can be read here;
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2018/0087/latest/LMS73110.html
TELLING YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHAT YOU THINK
Members of Parliament have offices in their electorates where voters can go and see them and make their views on issues known.
You will usually have to make an appointment to see them.
These offices are paid for by you the taxpayer to provide this opportunity and ask for help from your local MP.
If you don’t know who your MP is, you can find out here;
https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/members-of-parliament/
You can also write a letter to your local MP expressing your concern and asking them to change the legislation.
https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/have-your-say/contact-an-mp/
For advice on what to say in your letter, see below; Or there is a draft letter you can send; Insert link to draft letter here Don’t worry about the cost of posting a letter, any correspondence to a MP is free of charge. The address to write to them is;

Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160
There is also the opportunity to have your letter delivered to all 121 MPs now sitting in Parliament.
If you want to do this, send Parliament, 121 copies of your letter in one envelope. Include a covering note asking for a copy to be distributed to each MP.
Address your envelope:
All members of Parliament Care of Distribution Services Freepost Parliament Private Bag 18 888 Parliament Buildings Wellington 6160
This service is available only for letters, not emails.
WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR LETTER OR EMAIL
It is important to show to MPs that you are a voter, an angler and that you are firmly opposed to the Amendment Bill’s threat to trout and your recreational enjoyment.
Say who you are, where you live, your age and profession.
Tell them how you got started in fishing, the generations of your family who have fished and that you are teaching the next generation the skills handed to you.
Say how fishing allows you to put food on your family’s table.
Point out that you as a trout angler have fought long and hard to protect the environment and campaigned for clean water. Stress that you have put your money where your mouth is on protecting the environment.
If you are member of the Labour, NZ First or Greens parties, tell the leaders and say that you are unhappy with the way the Amendment Bill threatens trout, your angling and undermines Fish & Game.
If you voted for Labour, NZ First or the Greens, tell the leaders you have supported them in the past but warn they can’t count on your vote if the Amendment Bill goes through as it presently stands.
The tone of your letter should be firm but polite. Aim to get your message across in a reasoned way and stress how important angling and trout are to you and your family.
Draft letter to MP’s
September 2018
Dear Hon ....... MP,
I am writing to express my concern about the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill.
My concerns are over both the contents of the Bill and the lack of consultation on it.
I am deeply disturbed by the secrecy under which this Bill was prepared and the failure to consult with Fish & Game about this issue when Fish & Game is the statutory manager of trout and represents my interests in these matters.
I agree with the Bill’s intention to better protect native fish but don’t support its attempt to undermine Fish & Game, my interests and the future of trout in New Zealand.
Trout are a valuable introduced species which provide economic, cultural and health benefits to me and more than a hundred thousand other freshwater licence holders every year.
As a keen angler, I value the relaxation, exercise and mental health wellbeing fishing provides and I believe the proposed legislation is aimed at removing those enjoyments and recreation opportunities from me and my fellow licence holders.
I ask that you change the Bill as it now stands to ensure that native fish get the protection they deserve but this protection is not to the detriment of trout or the enjoyment I and many others get from fishing for them,
Yours sincerely,
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