North Canterbury Fish & Game Councillors
Each North Canterbury Councillor is a voice for anglers and hunters in the region.
The Councillors below took Office in October 2021.
Christopher Brankin - Ngai Tahu Appointee
Graeme Nahkies - Governance adviser
Alan Strong -Chairperson
I am a Christchurch born and bred trout and salmon fisherman as well as a game bird hunter. My family have had a bach at the lower Selwyn huts and I have been lucky to grow up when the trout fishing there was excellent. I have raised two boys who have unfortunately witnessed the degradation of the Selwyn fishery and to a lesser degree, all the fisheries in North Canterbury. In 2016 due to the poor state of the fishery I wrote the paper titled “The Te-Waihora/Lake Ellesmere Brown Trout Fishery “Collapse and the Short-Term Recovery” I was subsequently co-opted onto the North Canterbury Fish and Game Council. Since then I have utilised my skills as a consulting engineer to support Fish and Game staff on several projects such as Snake Creek and Powells Road Restorations, aimed at restoring the spawning and rearing habitat of lowland streams feeding into Lake Ellesmere. I have assisted Fish and Game staff to coordinate agencies such as DOC, ECan, Selwyn District Council and the University of Canterbury to help fund these projects. I also believe that organisations like Fish and Game should be operated ethically and transparently. I was one of five councillors to recently request an audit review of the North Canterbury Fish and Game Council to ensure it was performing to our stakeholders’ expectations. If elected I will continue to support restoration projects and ensure good decisions are made at Council on behalf of the licence holders of North Canterbury
I am a 43-year-old fourth-generation salmon, trout and game bird hunter. I have a young family who are just as passionate. I am a dairy farmer on the family farm in Springston with over 26 years of experience running this business.
In 2016 I received the Working with Nature Award in recognition of outstanding efforts to improve freshwater habitat from NCF&GC. In 2017 I was approached and asked to be co-opted on to North Canterbury Council. I stood in 2019 and was elected. I have represented NC on the National sub-committee for Sea Run Salmon Committee. I have filled in where required at the National Council meetings.
I am open and honest in my opinions and feel myself to be evidence-based and solution orientated. I have been involved with salmon rescue and volunteer egg harvesting at Montrose. I worked with DOC and Living Waters on waterway restoration.
This council needs to continue with its agenda to obtain better funding for this region. Over this last term, we have uncovered major funding inequity between our region and others throughout NZ and this need to be a major priority for our region. We need to be able to look after what we still have and get back what we have lost
I stand behind NCF&GC in working hard to achieve a high standard for our five priorities which include Habitat Protection and Enhancement, engaging stakeholders, improving the financial position, recovery of the trout and salmon fishery and our relationship with Iwi.
I have been a Fish and Game Councillor since 2009 and have served for one term as Chair of North Canterbury Council. Game bird hunting and salmon and trout fishing are my passions and I remain concerned about the environmental impacts on all aspects of these pastimes. With falling licence sales in our district, recruitment and retention of licence holders must be one of our main priorities to ensure adequate funding to effectively address the many issues that our region faces. As an Honorary Ranger I am always keen to engage with stakeholders in the field and want to see our ranger group flourish in a professional way in representing North Canterbury Fish and Game.
I have been a lifelong spin and fly fisher.
As part of my degree in Zoology I studied fish and
fisheries gaining a strong appreciation of the variables
affecting trout and salmon populations and the kind
of healthy environments in which all species flourish.
At present I am reading about the changing world
ecosystems relating to salmon in an endeavour to
understand some of the reasons for our dwindling salmon
stocks and possible remedial measures.
Most of my fishing has been in the estuarine waters,
rivers and canals of the South Island. My experience also
extends to Australia and Alaska.
I belong to the Canterbury Anglers Club and the New
Zealand Handloaders Association. I have some past
experience in game bird shooting.
I support good relationships with NIWA, the Cawthorne
Institute and the Department of Conservation and other
organisations that support careful water management
and healthy waterways.
I acknowledge the efforts farmers are making with
catchment planting, fertigation, regenerative farming,
biodiversity developments, specialty breeding and
pasture improvement in order to reduce nitrogen
application, leaching and runoff. We need to work
In the future it would be most worthwhile to see local
facilities for the young, elderly and disabled so they can
have outings to enjoy freshwater environments and the
immense pleasure and relaxation that fishing can provide.
Your vote will mean strong strategic action towards
healthier waterways, restoring our trout and salmon
numbers and more fun for you in our fisheries and game
A keen salmon fisherman, white-baiter, hunter and proud dad. We’re at a critical cross-road regarding water quality and habitat protection. Our kiwi lifestyle is at risk. Sustainable development is one of those ‘greenie’ terms, but put into average kiwi terms, it essentially means that we need to be able to put food on the table and leave the environment in the same condition, or better, for our children and their children. At the moment this equilibrium is out of balance. We are steadily turning our estuary areas, including those of the major rivers, into sewage ponds. This is not progress. Yes some great work has been done already by Fish and Game, but we are up against some powerful interest groups who are strong at lobbying government. If elected I would support more intensive lobbying of the existing government. We need to tap into a shared values of Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, Deer Stalkers Association, gun owners, tourism associations and other conservation groups. We can’t continue to operate in isolation when we’re up against these powerful lobby groups. Why would I be good on the Council? I’m 45 years old, relatively young, with a Masters in Environmental Management. I spent 15 years selling environmental solutions to large Australian companies. Having moved back from Australia five years ago, I’m now keen to help protect our fishing and hunting recreational pastime so my kids can enjoy the same.
I am a 53-year-old avid hunter and fisherman who is
passionate about getting out in our great country and
enjoying the many fishing and hunting opportunities.
I grew up on a farm near the banks of the Rakaia River
where I developed my love of salmon fishing, fly fishing
I believe we need to ensure the ability to fish and
hunt sustainably, not only for my children, but all
future children. We are in interesting times and facing
interesting challenges, such as, access to hunting and
fishing, foreign ownership of our high-country stations,
increasing demands for water usage and keeping our
rivers in the best state possible.
I am a business owner in the technology sector and
married with two young adults that I have introduced to
hunting and fishing.
Using my 25 years senior management experience, I am
enthusiastic about helping to enhance Fish and Game
policies, supporting staff actions that focus on providing
access and returning water quality of our rivers and
waterways to levels that satisfy anglers and shooters.
I feel the revenue and funding model needs to be
addressed to enable our region to deal with local issues
such as fish screens and water intakes on our local
waterways, investigating all opportunities to increase
sports fish and game bird populations, developing and
enhancing wetlands providing advice on environmentally
sustainable farming practices and advocating for clean
I have been a keen trout fisher and game bird hunter since I was introduced to the sport over 50 years ago by my father when I was a boy living on the West Coast. I am a particularly keen fly fisher with a passion for fishing back country rivers.
I am also a keen deer hunter.
I was a member of the inaugural West Coast Fish and Game Council from 1991 to 1996 and was their appointee to the New Zealand Fish and Game Council, a position I held for 5 years until I moved to Christchurch to pursue a new career path. I currently work for an Engineering Consultancy in Christchurch where I am a member of a team of road and traffic engineers responsible for the maintenance and operation of all State Highways in North Canterbury and I am also involved in remedial projects following the Kaikoura earthquake.
As a current member of the North Canterbury Fish and Game Council and the Water and Wildlife Habitat Trust I have a passionate interest in the management of our sports fish and gamebird resource with a strong focus on sustainable management of the habitat. I understand the importance of good governance and fully support the recent changes made to re-establish our region as the premier Fish and Game region in New Zealand. I believe that I can continue to make a meaningful contribution to the Council based on wide ranging practical experience and a strong understanding of the legal framework surrounding habitat protection.
As a candidate for the forthcoming elections I am
honoured to be selected as a representative of the
Canterbury Fly Fishing Club to advocate for all freshwater
anglers and game bird hunters.
I have a set of skills that was highlighted in the recent
review to further the interests of anglers and game bird
• 20 years experience and proven record of advocating
at a national level
• served two terms on the PSA environment sector
one of which was vice chairman. This is an arm of the
governance of New Zealand’s biggest union
• spent five years in a special investigation unit of the
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries investigating
breaches of legislative requirements
If elected my pledge to all anglers and hunters is to
work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure the ongoing
sustainability of the fishery and game bird hunting
and enhance those opportunities that our forefathers
bestowed on us as part of our heritage that being the
outdoor recreation of fishing and hunting.
Chris Brankin is a Statutory Advisor appointed to Council by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. His whakapapa is in Murihiku, however he grew up in the Sheffield area, 500m from the Waimakariri river. Chris has a strong interest in game bird hunting, and has always enjoyed the fishing opportunities the region has to offer as well. He is committed to building links between Fish & Game and mana whenua in the Waitaha region, and believes that common interest in habitat protection for valued species is the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Graeme was co-opted to assist the Council following the 2018 audit report. He is Director and co-founder of BoardWorks International a specialist governance consulting company formed in 1997. Graeme has worked exclusively in support of governing bodies across a very diverse range of organisations and sectors mostly in New Zealand but also in Australia and the US. He has been supporting Fish and Game at both national and regional level for over 20 years. Before entering the consulting world, Graeme held senior executive roles in a range of organisations including as Deputy Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation of NZ, Chief Executive of the Waikato Regional Council and Chief Executive of Hutt Valley Health Corporation Ltd, a Crown Health Enterprise. He has been a member of a wide range of boards himself, often as chair. His board appointments span commercial enterprises, Crown entities and not-for-profit organisations. Graeme is a keen fly fisherman with residences in both Wellington and Turangi where he is also a member of the board of the Tongariro National Trout Centre.