Update on the Fish & Game Review
Fish & Game's regional structure
The advice from Fish & Game in its submission on the Review to the Minister was that any changes to Fish & Game's regional structure should require further study.
As a result, we have commissioned an in-depth study of the issues (efficiencies, costs, benefits, risks) around regional mergers.
This project team is touching base with all 13 Fish and Game Councils in the coming days and months.
They are working towards developing a long list of possible options by December 2021, identifying preferred options by February 2022 and their final report is due in March, after which formal Fish & Game and public consultation would take place.
We know there is widespread interest in this, and there has already been a level of constructive debate which will aid the team in its work.
So far, the project team has:
- Developed high-level project plan and timeline
- Contacted all Councils seeking written information on their views of best future regional structure and reasoning
- Gathering background information (financials, regional council boundaries etc.)
- Identification of potential design issues to consider
- Scheduling meetings with each Council for 5-17 November
- Initial analysis of written feedback
There will be two stages of consultation before any decisions are made on amalgamations.
Firstly, when the Project Team reports back, that will be the subject of consultation with all 13 Fish and Game Councils.
At the conclusion of this process, a report will be presented to the Minister before public consultation takes place.
Review recommendations that require legislative and regulatory change
There must be a thorough public consultation process and policy development before implementing changes.
Fish & Game has already provided its submission on the majority of the Review to the Minister.
These recommendations from Fish & Game, together with any proposed future shape of the regional Fish and Game structure, will form part of a formal consultation document.
After this is prepared, public consultation will take place with licence holders, treaty partners, stakeholders and the public.
It is expected that it will be late 2022 at the earliest before this process is completed.
The next steps will then be progressing any identified changes via the legislative process.
Review changes that can be done by Fish & Game
The New Zealand Council Acting Chief Executive Di Taylor has on her work programme addressing the recommendations Fish & Game can implement now.
This includes conflicts of interest, governance training, strategic planning, professional development etc.
Di will be briefing NZC on this in their first meeting in December, and it is expected the new training programme will be underway in February for the joint Chairs / NZC meeting.