Hawke’s Bay Fish & Game Council gets set to ‘tackle challenges’ of new year

  • 8/12/2015

Hawke’s Bay’s new Fish and Game Council recently held its inaugural meeting and councillors are “looking forward” to tackling the challenges of the coming year.

The region’s new eight-person council was elected by local Fish & Game licenceholders in the organisation’s recent nationwide elections.

Interim chairman Greg Duley says the addition of new members to council will complement the knowledge and experience of the four long-standing councillors who were re-elected.

“The immediate priorities for the new council will focus on addressing medium to longer term management and staffing needs, and exploring ways of more effectively delivering Fish & Game outcomes for Hawke’s Bay,” Mr Duley says.

“Monitoring and management of mallards is another priority along with ongoing participation in resource management planning processes aimed at protecting water quality and quantity, and sports fish and game resources more generally.”

At their November meeting, councillors discussed setting conditions for the 2016 game bird season which begins on the first Saturday in May.

Mr Duley says that the Hawke’s Bay region appears to be no different from others in the North Island in the sense that mallard numbers in parts of the region are a matter of concern.

“Hawke’s Bay Fish & Game is putting some robust monitoring programmes in place to get a clearer picture of mallard numbers – which will assist decision-making in relation to setting bag limits, season lengths and other regulations,” he says.

Hawke’s Bay Fish & Game is currently advertising for a senior Fish & Game Officer following the recent departure of the region’s manager and field officer.

Mr Duley says the vacancies have provided a unique opportunity to review the way the organisation operates locally. “We are looking for a highly skilled and motivated person to fill the role of a senior fish and game officer as the first step in a rethink of our staffing needs.”

A job description is available from Fish & Game’s website or by contacting the Fish & Game offices in Greenmeadows, Napier.

Mr Duley says that it is timely to reassure licence holders and the public that while the region has vacancies, Fish & Game is continuing to fulfill its role of managing the region’s fish and game resources, helped by Eastern Region of Fish & Game.

Eastern Region Manager Andy Garrick stepped in earlier as Acting Manager for Hawke’s Bay and will continue in the role until its staffing issues have been fully resolved.

“It’s business as usual in the Fish & Game office where long-serving Office Administrator Christine Tuck remains in that role,” says Mr Garrick.

“Field operations and planning processes haven’t been neglected either, with six specialist staff from the Eastern Region providing input over the past few months, along with assistance from temporary staff engaged to help with specific projects.

A recent project involved the release of 2,750 trout into Lake Tutira as part of an annual re-stocking programme, and staff have participated in a number of meetings with Regional Council and other parties.

Holidaymakers are reminded that Fish & Game’s new licences including Short Break and Long Break are available on line (http://fishandgame.org.nz/licences)and in accredited sports shops and other outlets.

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