Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Issues affecting our sport...
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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by mjl » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:02 am

but it’s not eco-friendly. Eco-tourism generally includes some social and community awareness. In this case, there are a large number of existing users. They come from all over the world. They stay longer and contribute more money to the economy than regular tourists. They contribute substantial revenue into a rural area (guides, accommodation, fuel, food, fly shops, restaurants etc). Your plan extends over large areas of the river and very large numbers of them will be impacted and inconvenienced each day. Annoyed, they will likely choose to go elsewhere at an overall cost to your community. The resource consent process should require applicants to consider their impacts. Even though we keep telling you, you don’t seem to be willing to even consider that you will impact on the existing angling community. The cycle trail people did the same thing. Hopefully, the existing users can get due consideration this time around.

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by WildAngler » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:53 pm

There's an online petition against the rafting proposal at Change.org. Please read our reasons for opposing it, sign and share.

At present, the Wyndham, Mataura, Gore, Wakatipu and Dunedin fishing clubs oppose the proposal because it will ruin the experience of the the rivers' main user groups by violating the basic etiquette of working upstream and not dropping down and spooking other people's water.

This tradition is a century old.

There are other more appropriate locations nearby on rivers where the bank anglers won't be affected as much--the Waiau and Clutha, for example.



Casey Craven s

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by WildAngler » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:43 pm

Phillip, I simply added up what you asked for and if approved would have the legal right to.

Angler days are like water consents or paua quota. The rivers in this country have a finite carrying capacity for anglers, just as the aquifers have finite water supplies. Farmers often ask for more than they use, but as their farms grow, so does their water take. You can't get something like that back once it's been granted. I've been fly fishing that river for 26 years, guiding it professionally for 16, and I have a good relationship with recreational anglers, fishing clubs, landowners, and most :) of the guides. I always go out of my way to accommodate recreational anglers, for the simple reason that they have a special claim to their relationship with the river. They are tangata whenua, or Kaitiakitanga. The local recreational anglers have a century old tradition of walking and fishing upstream, targeting active fish, while avoiding wading. It is one of the few places in the world you can regularly fish a small dry fly, emerger, or unweighted nymph on a five-weight rod all day long and do well. For that reason Stu Apte published the article in Field and Stream magazine that put the Mataura on the map, entitled "The World's Finest Dry Fly Brown Trout Stream."

This part of the country is the birthplace of our dry-fly culture, where flies like the Dad's Favourite, the First Choice, the CDC upright were all born. It's like the Test or the Itchen in the UK--hallowed, heritage water. Try taking a raft on heritage dry-fly rivers like Silver Creek in Idaho or the Beaverkill or Battenkill and you'll get shot.

I talked to the most respected trout fisheries scientist in the country today, John Hayes, of the Cawthron Institute, and his view is this would have a MAJOR not minor impact on the trout, the recreational angler, the quality of experience for everyone, and that it would hurt international tourism because research on angler expectations indicates it would telegraph to the international angling community this country can't manage it's rivers properly.

Many of us would support your business on the Clutha or Waiau but not on the Oreti or Mataura or Waikaia. And the idea that you applied for these shows how out of touch you are. Every single club using the river opposes your project and has emailed the council along these lines. So has Kiwi Anglers First. Why do you think that is?

I'd also like to point out that Geoff Young, who owns Cattle Flat Station, doesn't like the idea either.

Here's a link to Dr Hayes' research: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... try_Rivers

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by Drifter » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:56 pm

This is nothing more than trade completion in semi disguise by fishing guides , yet again trying to control who gets to use the rivers , I can understand why I mean you charge somewhere between 7-900 a day and likely get tip,s as well , a blanket concession basically over all the decent waterways so there is your motive maybe you should change the wording of your petition as I tried to explain to you over the phone fishing is not a major component of the project though would complement it in some circumstances , my main focus is affordable rafting trips for locals such as schools , scouts , family's , tourists etc etc and to think you suggested that school teachers could take groups of school kids rafting is a FUCKING JOKE , I sincerely hope you keep that to your self for obverse reasons ...like steering a raft or drowning , 16k fisherman I think you have misled your followers !!! , anyway I joined here to actually inform members with facts but your intent is twisting them so il just continue doing this by the book as I have been for the last year or so hopefully council do the same and southland will have a great asset for our community's to enjoy and still have an awesome fishery as well , il bid you all farewell I hope you all have a great season the river is in good nic at the moment iv just spent 2 days on it rafting and spotted some great fish , opening weekend is not far away iv always highlighted it as a time to grab the kids and encourage them into it as well which is what il be doing .

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by mjl » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:50 pm

Trade competition by guides? Over 1600 people signed the petition in just a few days. It’s more than just guides.

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by Steve » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:54 pm

Drifter wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:56 pm
This is nothing more than trade completion in semi disguise by fishing guides
Seems to me the first few posts here where from non guides, in fact Casey is the only current guide who has commented here, the petition has reach about 1500, well there just aren't 1500 guides in NZ...

And of the 1500, how many of them are in trade competition with your proposed venture? I'd suggest non, because there is not another commercial rafting venture on the Mataura... is there?

And are guides really trade competitors? Not directly, most of their business tends to be dedicated overseas anglers that come to NZ for the sight fishing experience, and I would imagine Casey, as a long time guide has his own client base. Guides offer a different service to you, based on their angling knowledge and skills. The only common ground I'd suggest is that you want to use the same river. You even state fishing is not a major component of the venture...

So just who is it that is trying to muddy the waters here??

If you are sincere, then why don't you ask that the consent application be public notified so both those for and against the proposal can come along and have there say before the council?

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by Drifter » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:07 am

Well my response got bounced , so il keep it simple , fishing guides are behind this , some fishing guides offer services like 4wd , helicopters , jet boats and bloody rafts so yea trade competition does spring to mine !! , if every consent was publically notified no one would get one , there's more than enough red tape as it is without dealing with every opinion out there so any normal person would avoid this at all costs , F & G represent fisherman and game bird hunters so have faith they do a good job , if you think you can do better put your name forward next elections , the petition is rubbish started by a fishing guide stating 16k fisherman a year headed for the river yea ok little misleading and likely going to look pretty bloody stupid , the council actually no what is in the pipeline and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the voters are feel they have been mislead as well I no I would , rite im off , iv done as best I can to explain what im up to & I don't think any of you will be happy no matter what I do aside from abandon the project ! which will not happen .

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by WildAngler » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:51 pm


You consistently avoid addressing a couple of major points.

First is that every single local fishing club opposed the application before guides got involved. The Mataura, Wyndham, Gore, Queenstown and Dudedin clubs. Kiwi Anglers First also opposes it, and they'd like to regulate the number of guides here, something I and many guides agree with.

Second is how would you propose, at a practical level, having your trips avoid ruining the days of anyone fishing upstream? If they've walked an hour or two to get to their favorite water, all the fishable water upstream is now spooked. They'd have to go back to their vehicles and find another location. There is no work around. You'd be violating etiquette that has evolved over a century. Our fishing culture is simply more than one person or business.

Your argument that your rafts won't deteriorate the experience for everyone else isn't true. Fisheries studies confirm this, and I'll include the articles below. I can also supply copies of full articles to you or anyone else who is interested.

Roger G. Young and John Hayes of the Cawthron Institute: “Angling Pressure and Trout Catchability: Behavioral Observations of Brown Trout in Two New Zealand Backcountry Rivers,” North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 2004.

“Encounter Norms for Backcountry Rivers of New Zealand,” by Carl Walrond. International Journal of Wilderness, August 2000.

Third is you don't want the application publicly notified. Why is that? Perhaps because it would require environmental, landscape, amenity and economic impact studies.

I've got a warning to you; just because the Southland District Council might once against stick their thumb in the eyes of anglers, as they did by approving the proposal to build a cycle trail next to the Oreti in the most remote walk-in zone, this has no bearing on the ultimate outcome. First of all, anyone familiar with the Oreti case will see 90 percent of the judge's reasoning for overturning it apply to your rafting proposal, ie, a new tourism incompatible with the special considerations of rivers with National Water Conservation Orders on them. Southland Fish and Game and RMA consultants both agree the Southland District Council's rational for avoiding public notification is extremely week because they've issued no formal studies of potential impacts and have no in-house expertise on the issues. Thus any concession they award is legally invalid.

https://fishandgame.org.nz/assets/Uploa ... 20-opt.pdf

The last point I'd make is more of a big-picture question. It's one of sustainability. This is where many of us believe Southland Fish and Game failed to act prudently, though they may come around on this issue yet, given how the rank and file license holders feel. 16K angler days is what you've asked for. If you don't agree, then prove it. I can supply copies of your proposal and my calculations to anyone who is interested. I'll elaborate on this in another post later.

The Resource Management Act is very clear that you can't change the way resources are used to hurt a majority of stakeholders. We're no so much concerned about your rafting business as we are with its effects. The process of deliberation is supposed to be democratic and science-based. Central to the RMA is the idea of the importance of protecting natural landscapes from inappropriate uses that degrade them. The idea of what constitutes a natural landscape is well established in law, despite the 2017 changes to weaken notification requirements the National Party rammed through. The RMA mandates the protection of the natural character of rivers, lakes, wetlands and ocean shore. Key to landscape is our perception of it, so effects like noise, visual pollution, and aesthetic concerns are important, but so is the history and sporting heritage of the place. All of these qualities form the cultural resource that forms our connection to our rivers like the Mataura and Waikaia.

http://www.lucas-associates.co.nz/asset ... W-2001.pdf

Once again, none of us opposes your desire to open a rafting business. We'd just rather see it operate on water that is more appropriate, ie, on the Waiau or Clutha. Shift your operation there and many of us guides would be happy to share clients with you because both have great scenery and heaps of water hard to fish without a raft or jet boat.

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by WildAngler » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:59 pm

Some of you may have noted the article in the Gore Ensign earlier this week. While it's good to notify the public about the issue, the paper failed to provide a link to the petition, thwarting an opportunity for wider democratic discussion.

Here is a copy of my rebuttal and corrections to the Ensign on its article:

* * *

Although we welcome news coverage and public discussion of the rafting proposal, we’d like to point out a few inaccuracies in the story.

The first is the story reports the application was for just three beats on the Mataura. The application actually calls for permission to guide on four beats on the mainstem Mataura, and one on the Waikaia, a small tributary, as well as the Oreti:

1. From the top of the Nokomai Gorge to Cattle Flat.
2. From the Otamita Bridge to Gore,
3. Gore to Wyndham
4. Wyndham to Mataura.
5. Waikaia River, Wendon to Waiparu
6. The middle Oreti

Just the first two beats alone would give Joostens the legal right to dominate over 40 k of the best of the middle to upper river, as well as double the pressure on the Waikaia, which many regard as the crème-de-la crème of dry-fly fishing. The beats described here are hallowed water comparable to Idaho’s Silver Creek or the Battenkill and Beaverkill, or England’s Test and Itchen.

What the applicant is asking for in the most remote section of the Mataura, the Nokomai Gorge to Cattle Flat, is obscene. That section of water can hold only four rods per day and is comparable to the walk-in zone on the Oreti, which has a strict beat system.

If fished to capacity every single day of the season—without a single rest day--would be only 784 angler days. Joostens is proposing 2,352 angler days, along with overnight camping.

Joostens’ application is also asking for 5,880 angler days a season on the next section. With permission of launching up to six rafts a day, with up to seven people in each raft, five days a week, for 28 weeks of the season, Joostens would also overwhelm and dominate this reach. This is one of the sections Stu Apte reported fishing in his famous 1972 Field and Stream article. This stretch of water is a significant cold-water-refuge during drought stricken summers because in addition to the tributaries of the Waimea and Otamita, the river receives two spring creeks and significant upwelling of cold ground water from the river bed. When the tribs drop and warm, many trout drop into this artesian section. It’s hard to portray Joosten’s application for the most intense pressure of any of his beats on this cold-water refuge as anything but attempted vandalism through exclusive capture.

Although I always enjoy hearing the views of experienced anglers, I’d also like to differ with a couple of points Geordie Milne makes.

The first is that opposing this application is motivated by selfish business interests. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every single club that fishes the river has formally opposed the application: The Wyndham, Mataura, Gore, Dunedin and Queenstown clubs, as well as the local group, Kiwi Anglers First. The New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides’ Association also emailed the council in opposition to the application.

The reason behind this grass-roots opposition is simple: commercial rafting would put too big a footprint on the river and displace customary user groups with a century of tradition.

He also criticises the process of allowing any “outsiders” to voice their opinion the management of Southland’s rivers. Overwhelmingly most people to sign the petition in opposition have been local.

But considering that visiting anglers contribute tens of millions in revenue to local businesses, they are key stakeholders, too, in the resource. These rivers have National Water Conservation Orders on them and are internationally famous. Mismanaging them would erode the $250 million angler tourism contributes to the national economy. The iconic value of these fisheries alone calls for special circumstances.

The big picture question on this application is, Have Southland Fish and Game and the Southland and Gore district councils followed simple, easy-to-understand principles of democracy and sustainability? Neither has pursued public notification or involvement, nor professional impact studies, so their positions are untenable. The RMA clearly states that the greater the potential impact and public interest, the more thorough the deliberation process should be on resource consents.

Fish and Game New Zealand could poll all license holders on the subject if they wished. They have the email addresses of most license holders. They could also hold a public council meeting on the subject. Neither they nor the SDC have been transparent or democratic.

Similarly, claiming adding the legal right to intensify angling pressure on the watershed by over 12K angler days a near is “no more than minor,” as SDC planner Marcus Roy, lacks any basis in fisheries science or studies on local recreational angling amenity or on the wider economic impact of the proposal, once visiting anglers hear about it.

Scientists have long studied the effect of angling pressure on brown trout; you can google this quite easily. They have also studied what motivates anglers, and what they are looking for when they go fishing—peace, an encounter with a natural landscape and wildlife, as well as the ability to watch and fish for trout. How most anglers would react to six large inflatable rafts a day floating over trout they hope will rise is just common sense.

The broader question of sustainability seems to elude local councils as well as many in angriculture and tourism. At the simplest level, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism or public policy must consider fairness, democracy, and preservation of resources for future generations. This last point is especially crucial in an age in which climate change threatens our grandchildren’s future.

What does climate change have to do with tourism? Current estimates predict half of the coldwater habitat of the Rocky Mountains trout need is threatened by climate change, and it will have a similar impact on New Zealand. For this reason we must set limits on angling days far beyond what most in the older generation could imagine.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -fish-fry/

The most difficult questions of our day require we be proactive—not reactive. This begins with setting limits—whether on carbon, water pollution, or angler days on our local rivers. We can’t just keep kicking the can down the road. That is as short-sided as it is selfish.

If the Southland District Council and Southland Fish and Game are so certain the way they’ve handled this application has been based on democracy or sustainability, they should have the confidence to allow the wider public to express their opinion; and they should issue studies on the proposal’s impact on the environment, landscape, angling amenity and ecotourism.

Local newspapers like the Ensign and The Southland Times could support democracy and sustainability by publishing the link to the online petition, rather than hiding it from the public.


Casey Cravens

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Re: Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Post by fraser hocks » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:56 am

Just shy of 2,000 signatures now. Wow how many guides are there in Southland? HEHAHHHA

Sorry to have to spell this out to you Drifter, but sure some of the people not happy with your proposal are guides, but they make up a small portion of the people not happy with the proposal. If you want to come along to our fishing club at our next meeting, I'm VERY confident that you will soon understand that its not just the guides that are solely against this. I cant vouch for your safety if you were to come along to one of our meetings, so id highly suggest against it.

To try and paint it that its all about profit (guides), when you are the one chasing a profit from this proposal makes it fairly obvious to anyone on the outside of the debit see that you in the wrong bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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