Fish & Game Update
Significant progress in our mission to safeguard the future of fishing and hunting in New Zealand
Parliament’s Environment Select Committee has reported back on the planned Natural and Built Environment Bill (NBE), which we believe would have had significant implications for the future of fishing and hunting in New Zealand and the role of Fish & Game.
Over the past few weeks, almost 12,000 people visited Fish & Game’s ‘Our Future’ website and nearly 3,500 Kiwis sent emails outlining their concerns to the Government and MPs.
Following this public outcry and the hard work of the Fish & Game team, the select committee has now recommended changes to the proposed law.
These changes include:
- enshrining the protection of the habitat of trout and salmon alongside the protection of indigenous species
- recognition of the values Kiwis place on public access to lakes and rivers
recognition of the recreational use and enjoyment of the natural environment – and for these values to be maintained and enhanced
Generally, we believe this is a win for recreation, a win for anglers and hunters and a win for all New Zealanders.
The initial draft of the NBE Bill completely ignored the value Kiwis place on recreation and enjoyment of our great outdoors and removed the habitat protection of trout and salmon so these recommended changes are positive for Fish & Game and licence holders like you.
We were worried this Bill heralded the beginning of a suite of legislative changes that would threaten the future of fishing and hunting and the species we harvest in this country.
For trout and salmon, we have always been clear that any law must recognise both the national importance of these species and the reason why we need to protect their habitats – to safeguard the habitat of all freshwater fish. On the face of it, these changes go a long way towards addressing those concerns.
The changes rightly prioritise the health of the natural environment and recognise the importance of the recreational values New Zealanders hold so dear, not just now, but for future generations.
Our licence holders deserve a lot of credit for taking the time to make their voices heard and help bring about this change. We were overwhelmed by the level of support for the campaign, which shows the passion of our anglers and hunters in ensuring the things we care about today will be enjoyed by all in the future.
Further changes are still needed
Over the past 12 months, Fish & Game has raised its concerns about these reforms with environmental NGOs, officials, MPs from all political parties and ministers.
For the most part, it appears the decision-makers have listened, but there are still areas Fish & Game wants resolved.
- The Bill should be more explicit, in particular by ensuring the habitat of trout and salmon is protected, insofar as this is consistent with the protection of the habitats of indigenous freshwater species
- We remain concerned about the limits framework where the Government and local government will set environmental bottom lines for the environment
We want communities to be able to have their voices heard in the development of new regional planning frameworks and consents
Over the coming days, Fish & Game will be studying the select committee’s report in detail, seeking greater clarity on the recommendations and advocating for other changes.
We will not stop speaking up for hunters and anglers’ interests.
Thanks again for all your support, we will continue to keep you informed.