Council Staff

Local Councillors & Staff

Find out about the North Canterbury Fish & Game team.

General Manager
Rod Cullinane

The General Manager of North Canterbury Fish & Game comes from a different background to past managers who have traditionally been promoted from field-based roles.

Rod Cullinane is a qualified lawyer and accountant with a long history of corporate management who brings a different perspective to the organisation. The Council hired Rod to bring just this new approach.

He also brings an understanding of returning home empty-handed from a fishing trip – an experience all anglers have from time to time! Rod says when he heads out to the lakes his wife says “Rod’s going fishing - we’re having sausages for dinner.”

Rod learned to fish as a youngster on annual family holidays at Taupo, trolling on the lake and fly fishing on rivers such as the Waitahanui. He admits he's had much less success since moving down to the South Island, but hopes to rectify this. His favourite place to fish in Canterbury is the Coleridge lakes, such as Selfe and Georgina. He has never been salmon fishing but is keen to learn.

In his time at Fish & Game, Rod plans to review the structure of the organisation and make it more efficient. “I want to look at whether we are doing justice to the different areas we're managing. Can we do things more efficiently?”

One of the things Rod hopes to tackle is to make sure the hatchery is operating at its best. “North Canterbury is fortunate in that it has one of the largest hatcheries producing sports fish in the South Island. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for our region, but it enables us to support other regions.”

He adds that North Canterbury is also unique in that it faces some of the toughest challenges to its waterways and fishery. “There needs to be a transformation in the farming sector - there is an obligation from this industry to preserve our natural assets from pollution,” Rod says. He plans to carry on the strong advocacy role that Fish & Game has shown in this area.

Fish & Game Officer
Steve Terry

Steve has been with North Canterbury Fish & Game since 2000. Steve is responsible for monitoring the salmon fishery in the region and is also involved in water quality monitoring of key salmon and trout spawning streams, working in collaboration with farmers to protect these valuable streams.

Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Environmental Science from Lincoln University. His interests include ocean fishing, scuba diving, hunting and skiing.

Fish & Game Officer
Emily Arthur-Moore

Emily started with Fish & Game in October 2009. She has worked in a range of roles including public relations, advocacy, education and monitoring. Emily works part-time (two days a week on a Monday and Tuesday).

She studied ecology at Lincoln University, and has a particular interest in habitat restoration and enhancement. Her roles at Fish & Game include public relations, access advocacy and habitat restoration.

On weekends she's most likely to be found scaring fish in her whitewater kayak.

Fish & Game Officer
Tony Hawker

Tony comes from a farming background in the Nelson region. Having grown up near the banks of the Motueka River, he has developed a keen interest in fly fishing and also enjoys deer and pig hunting.

He moved to Canterbury in 2000 and joined Fish and Game in 2008 as the Environment Officer. This mainly involved advocating for sports fish and game bird habitat though the resource management process. In 2012, Tony changed to the role of Fish & Game Officer specialising in the management of trout fisheries, as well as working on resource consents.

Tony is passionate about trout fishing in the North Canterbury area and rates it as one of the best regions in the country for brown trout trophy fishing.

Compliance & Hatchery Manager
Dirk Barr

Dirk has been involved as a volunteer with salmon and trout enhancement work for more than 25 years. In 1995 he took on the signage installation programme at Fish & Game. Dirk is also an honorary ranger and has an extensive knowledge of the region.

In April 2008, he took on the job of Manager at the Fish & Game hatchery at Montrose and at Peacock Springs. He has also taken on the roles of game bird co-ordinator and compliance within the North Canterbury region.

Dirk is also a keen hunter and angler and his passion for salmon fishing is only surpassed by his passion for enhancement of their habitat.

In his spare time, those who are able to find him can be certain he won’t be without his rod and rifle, or his trusty hunting companion Brace, his black lab.

Environmental Advisor
Scott Pearson

Scott's role as Environment Advisor is focused on advocacy for sports fish and game interests, particularly through the Resource Management Act. He is the region's spokesperson for environmental issues and maintains close co-operation with field staff, along with input into national strategic and PR-related matters.

He has been in this role since September 2012, having previously worked at a high level in the tourism industry in both management and marketing roles.

His qualifications include a Master’s Degree (hons) in Natural Resource Management and an undergraduate degree in Resource Studies, majoring in ecology and land & water management. In his spare time Scott enjoys a range of outdoor pursuits including trout fishing.


Office Manager
Debbie Ambler

Debbie owned her own business for ten years prior to joining the team in April 2012 and has brought to the organisation a wide variety and extensive range of administrative skills. She is usually the first person you meet when you walk into the Fish & Game office.

Debbie's role covers everything from managing staff and Council meetings and the region's  accounts, to co-ordination of local licence agents and licence sales and health and safety - along with helping out staff in general.

Outside work you'll find Debbie either at the gym, on a golf course, or on a mountain bike (though not as serious a rider as her husband!). She also enjoys a good book to wind down.