Rafting operation for the ..... Mataura!

Issues affecting our sport...
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Drifter
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:51 pm

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

Post by Drifter » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:28 am

Mr Cravens im not familiar with what service you offer but looking at some advertising from other commercial fishing guides some offer 4wd , helicopter , jet boats and rafting along with multi day camping trips in rural zones , outstanding national landscape zones and national parks , by your own admission you said you and some fellow guides that operate in southland were bringing 44 thousand fisherman into these areas , some members of the public , fisherman and other river users mite like to know what effects that may have on the fragile environment , things like toileting , helicopter , vehicle movements and frequency spring to mind.
In your view do you think commercial fishing guides should need a resource consent and do you think that consent process should be publicly notified ?.
I no "some" fisherman have been in opposition to my project but no this , over the last year I have completed every single task Council & other Affected Party's have required of me .



WildAngler
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 pm

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

Post by WildAngler » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:10 pm

Phillip:

I like the waters within two hours of Riversdale a great deal. But they certainly are not the only rivers I guide. My area is a large one--basically the lower half of the South Island, from Dunedin to the West Coast, but increasingly it includes more than that as well.

I try to keep as small a footprint as possible, a guiding equivalent of what Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said in his famous manifesto on "clean climbing" https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016 ... opher-king . If you don't know his work on sustainability, you owe it to yourself and future clients to read it, including his book "Let My People Go Surfing," which shows how the outdoor industry can be a way to lead the environmental fight.

The first rule of sustainable business is a commitment to the resource. The second is to the local users who were there before you. The third is a commitment to future generations. For that reason you've got to invision not just your own impact but what happens if others follow. The social impact of one's business is always a huge consideration. You've got to ask yourself, "Am I doing all I can to keep my impact to a minimum?" I applaud your idea of taking families and school kids on trips outdoors. I just want you to do it on waters where you'd have less impact on existing users.

I don't use helicopters in rural zones. When we can, we walk into the backcountry. I also avoid private access that could cut into a beat half way and ruin the day for others. We don't need drift boats or rafts on most rivers in this country, as most water has excellent access, and fishing from the bank and staying out of the water disturbs fish and other anglers much less.

Any of my clients and colleagues who have fished with me know I've got reputation along these lines, as well as having good relationships with local landowners, anglers and clubs. Of course all guides need some kind of government certification to operate, and the NZPFGA operates in full compliance with that. Virtually all of the fly fishing guides I know have also spent their careers advocating for the resource along these lines. Just look at their involvement in fights for national water quality standards, public access, or keeping as much land and water in as natural as state as possible, from Kakapo Brook to the Oreti and beyond.

The Southland and Gore District councils ought to examine their own record on water quality before they come harassing sustainable ecotourism, which earns far more than the dairy industry these days. Perhaps Southland's new Land and Water Plan will be an improvement. But their record on sustainability is atrocious and they know it. Look at the way the local government knowingly dumped toxic algae into the Mataura. That's why many in the fishing community feel their knee-jerk reaction is "policy" that sticks the thumb of government in the angling public's eye.

If you indeed want to accommodate all "affected parties," then why oppose public notification?

And if Southland Fish and Game professionals and their council are so certain they haven't shown dereliction of their duty, they shouldn't have a problem asking every license holder to vote on this proposal, because it is a radical change to a century of angling tradition on the country's most famous dry-fly water. They have the emails of almost every license holder. Let them put it to a simple email vote using SurveyMonkey and MailChimp and publish the results.



Drifter
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:51 pm

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

Post by Drifter » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:42 pm

Rest assured Casey I approached all the local users that were here long before you or I and they happily provided there written approval , You once labelled me worse than a dairy farmer yet here you are trying to hide behind some flimsy existing user rites you sir are a hypocrite , lets see you man up and do a publically notified consent to undertake a commercial activity , lets finally see rules put in place for guided fishing , You plan on bringing 44 thousand people to southlands wild places let alone the rest of the country and your suggesting you don't need to comply with the resource management act , I think you have some explaining to do Mr Cravens especially to all the people that you have misled into signing your petition , how do you think they would view you trying to weasel out of becoming compliant , I have followed the law ...you have not .



WildAngler
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 pm

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

Post by WildAngler » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:43 pm

Phillip:

I don't know where you're getting this 44K number from. It may be correct, or it might not be. But it's not my number.

I and other guides have been compliant. The NZPFGA is seeking legal counsel, and it's not my place to speak to that in any official capacity. Moreover, the SDC doesn't have the moral high ground. They've failed the river, over and over and over.

I haven't insulted you or misled anyone. Again, if you have confidence the public supports your proposal, ask for formal notification.

Ask for impact studies.

Ask for the Southland Fish and Game Council to do their job and poll all license holders before they support such a major change in traditional use of the river. They have license holders' emails and could easily ask for the public to vote on it.

Violating history, memory, culture, social amenity and existing, sustainable businesses are all against the law, according to the Resource Management Act.

If you weren't so stubborn and more flexible you might find support from the fishing and guiding community. Threatening the river's largest user groups--both recreational and guides--isn't democratic or sustainable. It is also self destructive, my friend.

Even if you win in the short term, you'll be the most hated man in the valley. But I don't think you'll win. Your position violates common sense and basic fairness. Even if the SDC supports it short term, it will lose in the Environment Court. Simply multiply the number of signatures by $20 or $40 and you'll get an idea of the budget we could raise for an appeal.

You still have a chance here to come out a winner. But it requires flexibility and listening to the market and to the river's traditional users. You have other more appropriate river venues nearby.

Any other path will lead to an outcome you can't foresee and will ultimately regret.



mjl
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:24 pm

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

Post by mjl » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:44 pm

Drifter.

Are you really arguing that because guided fishing predates the RMA you should be exempt from resource consent as well? That would be bizarre. This is about what you want to do, and you need resource consent. Anything the guides have or haven’t done is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
If you want resource consent for your project you have to jump through the required hoops. Jumping through those hoops doesn’t get you resource consent, what you have done so far is basically fill out the application form. There should now be a rigorous assessment by council to determine if your application is compliant with the Southland District Plan. You are not compliant (specifically with Rule SWA.2) and your application should be rejected.

What we don’t want is for you to get to move forward by exploiting a loophole created by a mistake. Fish and Game Council should not have endorsed any aspects of your proposal. There are nearly 3000 of their stakeholders that have decided that what you have planned is inappropriate. To say they have all been tricked is ridiculous. We want notification of the project to ensure it is assessed on its merits. Basically, if we don’t get this right now everybody suffers from poor decisions that are entirely avoidable if council are willing to listen.



Drifter
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:51 pm

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

Post by Drifter » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:04 pm

"Are you really arguing that because guided fishing predates the RMA you should be exempt from resource consent as well? That would be bizarre."
No not at all im arguing the opposite I have done everything required of me to get the consent I approached everyone I was asked to , everyone has been represented if you have a problem with that you need to take that out on the governing body that represents your interest .
I don't make the rules I follow them , yet here we have another group of people trying to avoid getting compliant , They exchange cash for a service on public land that is about the only one thing they have in common, every guide is different , some have not been guiding for very long others for many years , they all advertise different activity's from rural zones to national parks using various modes of transport no one blanket system will ever work especially when its coupled with different councils , to simply label everyone a fishing guide that somehow predates the RMA is utter bollocks , if it was that easy I could have just joined the association as a guide & off I go & yet this is precisely what has been happening look at all the foreign guides that come here each summer, to me that situation is wrong , are you one of them I see you are from OZ ?
"Anything the guides have or haven’t done is irrelevant to the issue at hand." that shows you ignorance because recreational fisherman or famers with access or DOC have never been overly happy with guides & clients or irresponsible people doing as they please in our back blocks and all the study's Casey has been posting have been created long before I came along & can be used either way , If there was ever going to be a time to sort this resource consent issue out is to start from scratch and get consents , as I said pandoras box has been opened the same rules apply to everyone the RMA is very clear , im getting compliant why shouldn't others with commercial interests , il be surprised if its not demanded when tourists , infrastructure & illegal operators has been such a huge issue in recent years .



mjl
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:24 pm

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

Post by mjl » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:46 pm

Drifter wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:04 pm
"everyone has been represented"
But they haven’t. The nearly 3000 unhappy punters that signed the petition haven’t been represented. People make mistakes and it is time to recognise that Fish and Game Council got this wrong. Pride comes before the fall and they should withdraw any support, actual or implied, that they have given. Otherwise, in the interests of getting this right, let’s remove all doubt and go through the formal notification process.

The rest of it about guides and consent and now farmers vs guides is still irrelevant to the issue at hand (your rafting proposal).



Drifter
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:51 pm

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

Post by Drifter » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:18 pm

Oh ok the 3000 punters that come from all around the globe , the ones that spend an extra $10 more than us kiwis for a license that gives them the rite to fish here all summer you no the trout bums like you , mean while we live here pay tax & vote & you expect to now have some say in our politics , how about you piss off & stay in dingo land and worry about your own troubles like water I hear that’s in demand lol along with decent rugby players.



mjl
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:24 pm

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

Post by mjl » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:38 pm

Yes. Affected stakeholders and sources of foreign exchange. It is well known that we spend more per day than regular (rafting) tourists. On average we stay something like 10 days. We base ourselves in small towns supporting local economies. This is exactly what is at risk.

But I am sure lots of Kiwis have signed as well. So your proposal not only damages the local tourism economy but impacts on local users as well. Well done.



WildAngler
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 pm

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

Post by WildAngler » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:59 am

Phillip:

You're conflating a bunch of issues that have nothing to do with your application's merits.

Most of the people who signed that petition are residents. But that really doesn't matter because under resource management law they are stakeholders and have the legal and moral right to be consulted.

Beyond the law, it's simply good business not to offend visitors with folding money. Many of them do more than contribute to the economy. Some put down roots, buy houses, move here permanently, join fishing clubs, vote and fight to preserve the resource. I've been wading and fishing the Mataura for 26 years, and my sons, who were born here, are 100 percent Kiwis and fish it with me. Both of them caught their first trout on the Mataura.

BTW, unless you're Moriori, you're from immigrant stock.

Since you brought it up, let's address the whole "us" versus "them" issue. You playing that card is xenophobic, a polite word for being inbred. Whenever someone plays the xenophobia card, you know they're trying to distract from the real issues.

New Zealand's economy depends on foreign currency. It has to be because the economy simply doesn't have a big enough domestic market to work without it. The bulk of agricultural products like dairy or produce are all exported. As important as agriculture is, tourism right now earns more than dairy. As MJL points out, the highest earning segment of the tourism market is angling travel, which earns 400 percent more per visitor. Fly fishing is an essential and iconic part of the New Zealand Brand. Try your anti-tourism rant with the local chamber of commerce or Tourism New Zealand and see what they say.

As far as illegal foreign guides go, the NZPFGA actively opposes them and are working with the Department of Conservation to end it. Like everyone of the local angling clubs, and Kiwi Anglers First, virtually all local guides oppose illegal foreign guiding and want to cap the numbers of legal guides. Most of us are also members of local angling clubs. We all pay taxes and vote and most have good relationships with farmers. I know more than a few guides who come from a local farming background. BTW, I've talked to the landowner at Cattle Flat, and he doesn't want you floating and camping that stretch of river. If you have a problem with a specific guide over-utilizing the resource, report them to the NZPFGA and the organization will discipline them. If not, you are once again playing the xenophobia and resentment card. BTW, guides don't just take out rich clients. Many of us teach free casting clinics through clubs and have a lot of normal, average middle-class people who want to join the outdoor lifestyle. In that respect we're like ski or mountaineering instructors, teachers who provide a service. We pay yearly fees to our professional organization, which in turn pays the government.

Despite your attempt to muddy the water here, at the most basic level, you can't get around the fact that you floating downstream with two or three rafts of seven people twice a day will ruin the experience for everyone else. All studies on the issue show that. It's also a key component of the RMA that falls along the issues of amenity and perception of landscape, which is elevated under environmental law as one of the most important considerations. How a person feels about their experience of being on the river is important. Visual impacts, disturbance, noise, other anglers and large bright rafts all detract from that. For that reason, the RMA privileges protecting landscapes in as natural and unmodified state as possible. That's why it's important to limit the number of planes and choppers flying over Milford Sound, or hordes of bicyclists who might have buzzed by fly anglers in the most remote section of the Oreti. That's also why angling from the bank, and working upstream, are more natural and less intrusive ways of experiencing the river than floating downstream on top of people. Studies about the social impact of other anglers stress that encounter more than one of two anglers a day seriously erodes the experience.

The Mataura, especially above Gore, is like a large spring creek. At low water, as far down as Gore almost half the river's flow either comes from spring creeks or groundwater flowing up out of the bed of the river. That is extremely rare. No comparable spring creek dry-fly water anywhere in the world offers a quality experience with large bright rafts floating on it--not Silver Creek in Idaho or the spring creeks of Paradise Valley near the Yellowstone. The Otamita-Gore section of the river you'd put the most pressure on is a cold-water refuge during drought and low-water months. Fish drop down out of the Otamita and Waimea and rest in the colder water. The idea of putting 5K angler days a year over them isn't sustainable biologically. But it also would have a big impact on local anglers as it's the closest section of river above Gore, and with those numbers you'd dominate the fishery. To put a finer point on it, if approved you'd achieve exclusive capture. The result is a tremendous potential for social conflict. That's why all the local angling clubs oppose it. European or American rivers where local laws allow commercial rafting ruin it for everyone else. Just take a look at some of the comments offered by people who have signed the petition and you'll see what they mean. You haven't addressed this central issue, nor has Fish and Game or the Southland F&G council.

Rivers where rafting can coexist with bank angling are much different--typically larger, deeper and faster water with rainbow trout populations. This is the point John Hayes, one of New Zealand's top fisheries scientists, made when I asked him his thoughts on your proposal. You've got rivers nearby that are much more appropriate, like the Waiau or Clutha. As several of the commentators have pointed out, the very reason the Oreti cycle trail lost in the Environment Court for reasons that apply to your application--user conflict and the fact that there are more appropriate alternative options nearby.

Once again, if you are so confident in your proposal's merits, ask for public notification.

Ask for the Southland District Council to commission relevant impact studies.

Ask Southland Fish and Game to have license holders vote on the issue. It's as simple as sending out an email.

Otherwise there is no merit to your application.



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