North Canterbury Fish & Game Councillors 

Each North Canterbury Councillor is a voice for anglers and hunters in the region.

The Councillors below took Office on October 31 2018.

Dave Coll

Rex N Gibson

Stu Henderson

Trevor Isitt

Ken Lee 

Phillip Musson

Richard O'Keefe

Bill Southward

Alan Strong (Chairman)

Co-Opted Members

Christopher Brankin - Ngai Tahu Appointee

Daniel Maxwell - Federated Farmers Rep

Graeme Nahkies - Governance adviser


FGNZ3270 Alan Strong

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

FGNZ3272 Rex Gibson

Rex N Gibson QSM

My history in freshwater fishing and hunting goes back to my teenage years; and for the last 28 years my fishing has been based in North Canterbury. In recent years my angling efforts have been split between the high country and the lower Waimakariri. I have been a member, for many years, of NZ Salmon Anglers, Christchurch Fishing and Casting Club (Life member), and Canterbury Anglers. I hold a Master’s degree in vertebrate ecology and parasitology and have, in recent years used my ecological knowledge to become involved in a range of environmental groups and forums fighting the degradation of Canterbury’s freshwaters and fisheries. This is my third year as an executive member of the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers Inc. I have participated in a wide range of advocacy and submissions on their behalf to ECan and other statutory bodies, and guided their strategic planning processes. I am interested to helping enhance the Fish and Game policies, and supporting staff actions, that focus on returning water quality and quantities in our damaged rivers and waterways to levels that satisfy anglers and
shooters. I have regularly published articles on these topics, in a range of New Zealand fishing publications, and will continue to do so. I have no doubt that the future of water-based recreation in our region is “in crisis” and I put my name forward as someone with a history of tackling the causes directly.

FGNZ3263 Phil Musson

Phil Musson

Hi,I am a 40yr old 4th 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 20 years experience running this business. In 2016 I received Working With Nature Award in recognition of outstanding efforts to improve freshwater habitat from NCF&GC. After, I was approached by the Chairman and asked if I would join the NCF&GC as a co-opted member. Since then I have been elected to the National Sea Run Salmon Committee which was formed in response to the crises in salmon returns. Also I’ve been involved in salmon rescue missions at the Waimakariri and for the last few years been a volunteer at Montrose hatchery assisting in harvesting eggs for returning fish. I have been working with Cr Alan Strong, DOC and Living Water on restoration of habitat on Powells Rd waterway on the boundary of my farm a major trout spawning stream of the L11 River I am part of the group of councillors who requested NZ Council to audit NCF&GC over a number of issues which lacked clarity. I feel NCF&GC need to set a high standard of clarity and openness in the future.
If I was to be elected. My goals
• recovery of the trout and salmon fishery
• habitat protection and enhancement
• predator control for nesting game birds
I have a passion for the fishery and like to see it returned to its former glory.

FGNZ3266 Trevor Isitt

Trevor Isitt

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.

FGNZ3268 Richard OKeefe

Richard O'Keefe

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.

FGNZ3277 Bill Southward

Bill Southward

Fisherman since I could hold a rod. Game hunter from 15. Entire life lived in Canterbury, property at North side Rakaia huts since 1971. Extensive knowledge of the lower Rakaia river and lagoon area. The rapid deterioration of the water flow/quality of our rivers and lakes within the past 20 years has been my focus since retirement, with follow on effect of lack of salmon and trout in Canterbury waterways. Have spent hours in submissions and hearings re Trustpower/Change to Conservation Order -Rakaia River. I have filmed, photographed, dvd’s, spoken at meetings with Fish & Game, Niwa, ECan, Canterbury University student groups, Canterbury fishing groups re low water flows and effects to the fish, lagoon, vertebrae and seashore. My aim has always been to bring these controlling bodies together and share information. My achievements in the past being to get a regular cross section flow recording of the Rakaia riverbed from gorge to sea and then have 25 years of this data being digitally recorded for the archives – through private funding from some of the above bodies. In 2013 I was awarded the “Coastal Champion of New Zealand” by the NZ Coastal Society in recognition of my efforts for the Rakaia River. I would like to see more transparency, sharing information, trout and salmon enhancement. A team approach is in my opinion the only way forward and I would continue to work with the knowledge and expertise of my peers within the above bodies.

FGNZ3280 Stu Henderson

Stu Henderson

Canterbury born and bred, keen hunter, fisherman, and passionate duck shooter. I have been a holder of Fish and Game licences for 48 years and an enthusiastic Lake Ellesmere game bird hunter for 43 years. Currently owner and operator of a Canterbury business and self- employed for 37 years. A member of Christchurch Rod and Gun Club for 17 years and past president of this club, a position I held for eight years. If elected I would strive to do my best for the sport fisher/ game bird licence holders in the North Canterbury Region. I believe I can provide intelligent, constructive, and effective advocacy in protecting the rights and furthering the interests of sport fishers/game bird hunters. During my time hunting and fishing throughout North Canterbury I have observed massive degradation of the environment in the region. This has had a major negative impact for both fishermen and game bird hunters and I believe it is imperative that Fish & Game provide sensible and effective advocacy to reverse this trend. Right now, due to a variety of influences, I believe that freshwater fishing and game bird hunting are sports under threat like never before. Over the years I have gained huge enjoyment from these activities and I believe it is now time for me to ‘do my bit’ in effectively contributing to the management and protection of these sports. I undertake to provide a high level of commitment in working constructively to further the interests of sport fishers /game bird hunters if elected.

FGNZ3286 Dave Coll

Dave Coll

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.

Ken Lee

Hello I am 53 years old, a husband, father of two, and passionate about hunting and fishing, (myself since I was five and my children even younger), and I would love to see their children have the same opportunities as we have. A two term North Canterbury Fish & Game councillor, l take my role very seriously representing you and your family the best way possible. People that know me, know that if they have any concerns they would like raised at Council level l will be their voice and give them a straight up answer. I am very proud to be one of the five councillors this year to request a NZ Council audit of NCF&G over a number of issues that lacked transparency. I think that the NCF&G can move forward now with a high standard of clarity and openness. I care about both hunting and fishing and have been volunteering my time and resources where needed; whether helping at our hatcheries or being an honorary ranger checking licences. Being a volunteer firefighter for 16 years, I bring the same sense of duty, honesty and service to the NCF&G Council. My favourite saying is ‘actions speak louder than words’, and I know we need to listen sometimes but it’s also time to take action to recover protect and enhance our fisheries and our game birds. I hope to help lead this strategy in the future and thank you for taking the time to consider me.

FGNZ3289 Chris Brankin

Chris Brankin

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.

GN photo

Graeme Nahkies

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.