Media release: North Island to share its views on the future of recreational fishing

Media release
1 September, 2017

What does the future hold for recreational fishing? That is the central question that will be asked at a series of upcoming public meetings in the North Island, hosted by The New Zealand Initiative. These seven meetings will be an opportunity for members of the public to share their views on the future of recreational fishing, and learn more about the Initiative’s latest consultation document on this subject, The Future Catch.

Last month, the Initiative began engagement with public meetings across five South Island locations.

During the upcoming public meetings Dr Randall Bess, author of The Future Catch, will speak about his research both in New Zealand and overseas to find better ways of managing fish stocks important to recreational fishers.

In May, the New Zealand Initiative sent a delegation of New Zealand fishers to Western Australia to learn about how their fisheries are managed. This included delegates involved in customary, commercial and recreational fishing.

Members of this delegation will share their insights during the upcoming weeks in the North Island. Several meetings will also be attended by Dr Andrew Rowland, CEO of Recfishwest, recognised by the Western Australian Government as the peak body for representing all recreational fishers in Western Australia.

“At our South Island public meetings, people raised their concerns about the future of recreational fishing. We want to continue this level of public engagement in the North Island and build momentum for the type of policy changes recreational fishers have been demanding for a long time,” says Dr Bess.

He continues: “The feedback we received in the South Island was clear. Recreational fishers are frustrated about their voices going unheard. Many of them agreed the best approach would be to establish a professional well-funded organisation to represent their interests at the highest levels.”

Following the consultation process, The Future Catch’s recommendations will be finalized and presented to the government by the end of the year. You can read the draft report, The Future Catch, here.

The New Zealand Initiative has released a video of some of the delegation to Western Australia, explaining why we need to work collaboratively to improve our fisheries resources. The video is available here.

Schedule of upcoming North Island public meetings





Tuesday 5, September

New Plymouth

New Plymouth Sportfishing & Underwater Club, Ocean View Parade
With guest speaker Geoff Rowling, Our Fishing Future


Thursday, 7 September


Petone Working Men's Club, 47 Udy Street, Petone
With guest speaker Geoff Rowling, Our Fishing Future


Tuesday, 12 September


Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club, 12 The Esplanade
With guest speakers Margaret Wind & Keith Ingram,
New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council


Monday, 18 September

Mt Maunganui

Mount Ocean Sports Club, Salisbury Wharf
With guest speaker Dr Andrew Rowland, Recfishwest


Tuesday, 19 September


Bay of Islands Swordfishing Club, 96 Marsden Road
With guest speaker Dr Andrew Rowland, Recfishwest


Wednesday, 20 September


Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, Ara Tai, Half Moon Bay


Thursday, 21 September


Hawkes Bay Sport Fishing Club, 30 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri



Dr Randall Bess is available for comment. To arrange an interview, please contact:

For further information:

Linda Heerink, Communications Officer
The New Zealand Initiative
Phone: +64 4 494 9109
Mobile: +64 21 172 8036

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