The April issue of North & South magazine, p53, has an interesting article headed :
“A campaign to attract big-city businesses to Taupo is paying off.”
“We do say to some people, ‘Don’t come here’. Some people aren’t good matches. But when we do find a match, it’s a bit like catch and release with fishing – we catch them, we bring them here, we don’t just dump them in the stream. We gently manoeuvre them in the stream.”
Targeted new industries include:
In North & South magazine, the General Manger of Enterprise Great Lake Taupo, Martin ‘Fritz’ Frohike explains:
In fact one family has scoured New Zealand looking to establish a large-scale fish farm. They chose Taupo because of the 45 percent cost-saving provided by using geothermal power rather than gas to heat five hectares of ponds to 28 C, says Frohike. That business wouldn’t stack up anywhere else, so they’ve invested here and are about to start breaking ground. end of quote.
The Taupo Council economic advisor (?) Frohike promotes business opportunities for Enterprise Great Lake Taupo. If businesses make the shift, EGLT provides a welcome pack of goods and services worth $25,000.
So thank you to Taupo ratepayers who are subsidising the carp farm.
Now you know…
Minutes of the meeting by Eric Wilson, Secretary, Advocates for the Tongariro River…
The meeting attracted some 175 Taupo district residents and was chaired by our (i.e. the Advocates) Deputy President, Warren Butterworth.
Paul Decker Of Mahurangi Technical Institute (MTI), Warkworth showed photos of the two species, Grass carp and Silver Carp and gave a brief background of the species. He took pains to state that they were not Koi Carp, an acknowledged pest fish, and not Common Carp, the costly problem fish found in Australia.
Richard Clark of Golden Harvest was given the opportunity to explain the farm operation before the meeting was opened to questions from the floor. Richard’s website is http://rclark30.wix.com/goldenharvest and covers the points he made in his introductory speech.
The key point in the questions was that of risk – that these species could get into Lake Taupo and into the Waikato River. Richard Clark, Paul Decker and Dr Tagried Kurwei stated that if they did neither species could breed and establish feral populations. The special breeding conditions of water temperature, eggs had to be carried in the water and could not touch the bottom, and the time needed for the eggs to hatch being temperature dependent made this impossible. This was countered by Professor Brendan Hicks of Waikato University (Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand, Invasive Fish Control) who attended the meeting. He had reservations about the inability of these fish species breeding in the Waikato River. Professor Hicks view was supported by the meeting.
Among other matters raised in a robust meeting were that:
Ngati Tuwharetoa had not been consulted. Richard stated that he was working on this.
Golden Harvest Aquaculture was a Limited Liability Company and as such would not be responsible if the company failed and fish escaped.
Was the value of the Taupo Fishery, a world class fishery known throughout the world, with a value of $90,000,000 worth being risked for a carp farm of lesser value.
The issue of fish disease was raised as carp overseas carried fungus which could be carried by carp and could affect other species. Paul Decker and Dr Kurwei denied that grass and silver carp bred at MTI carried fungus.
John Ooi, a NZ resident of Chinese origin, questioned the research for grass carp and silver carp as being in demand by NZ Chinese as the many Chinese in China who ate these species did so because of the lack of alternative desirable fish. It was ” poor mans” food. Chinese in NZ were wealthier and the preferred species for them was Blue Cod. He questioned what would happen to surplus fish not sold.
The carriage of fish put our waters at risk. Carp would be transported as fry from Warkworth to Taupo and then back to Auckland as mature fish for the Auckland market. Paul Decker responded that you could buy goldfish from a pet shop and take them home in a plastic bag. The law allowed that. NZ law was lax in that respect.
No one from the audience spoke in favour of the Carp Farm.
The most revealing statement of the night was from the DOC Taupo Manager (Mirene Hardy-Birch) who said that the provisional clearance given by Conservation Minister Maggie Barrie required that the applicant
Meet with Ngati Tuwharetoa for their approval
Meet with Taupo Community
Meet with the Taupo hapu where the proposed Carp Farm is to be located, for their approval.
We can be very proud of the job done by the Chairman, Warren Butterworth, who had to deal with an involved audience and he handled the audience with calmness and fairness.
The meeting concluded with the motion :
“That the meeting resolves that the Hon Maggie Barrie, Minister of Conservation and the Hon Nathan Guy, Minister of Primary Industries, relevant Government Heads of Departments, Taupo District Council and Waikato Regional Council be advised that it is strongly opposed to a carp raising (Grass Carp and Silver Carp) facility in either Taupo or the Taupo District.”
Moved Alan Simmons, Seconded Jeff Webb
Passed with a big majority show of hands that did not require a head count. I have some letters to write.
Interest in the meeting was expressed by apologies received from our local MP the Hon Louise Upston, Paula Southgate (Chair of Waikato Regional Council) and apologies from WRC Counsellors Peter Buckley, Tipa Mahuta and Timoti Bramley, also from Jeffrey Bennett, Professor David Hamilton and Michel Dedual.
The TDC Mayor David Trewavas and Counsellors John Boddy, Bernhard Chrustowski, Rosanne Jollands, John Williamson, Zane Cozens attended.
I conclude that the meeting was successful in that the people of the Taupo district have had their first opportunity to hear from the applicant and to question the applicant.
Carp farm director faces fire at Taupo public meeting
x Stuff by MATT SHAND
Angry anglers were among those at a public meeting to give the thumbs down to a proposed grass and silver carp farm in Taupo.
Golden Aquaculture Harvest director Richard Clarke, the man behind the fish farm proposal, faced opponents of the project at the meeting attended by about 150 people in Taupo on Monday.
The proposal has already received conditional approval from Conservation Minister Maggie Barry, but still needs to get the green light from the Ministry of Primary Industries and Department of Conversation.
A petition to stop the proposal has received nearly 4500 signatures.
Some can see potential economic benefits of the project, but others are worried the fish could escape into the Waikato River, establish a colony and destroy the trout fishery.
Mahurangi Technical Institute director Paul Decker, who attended the meeting, has bred grass and silver carp in New Zealand for 20 years.
He said it would be impossible for grass and silver carp to establish a wild population in New Zealand.
“They can’t breed in New Zealand in the wild,” he said.
“It’s impossible to breed in the lake. Carp eggs need to rotate constantly in hot water. If it stops for more than an hour in the lab, it dies.”
However, people at the meeting remained unconvinced.
Clarke was given an opportunity to speak about the farm and its security.
He said the farm would operate on a zero discharge system and would utilise nets to ensure no fish could be carried away by predators.
“We have got 14 controls in place and a programme designed to cater for a one-in-100 rainfall event,” he said.
“We can store excess rainwater and discharge it on the farm.”
Tourists who attend would have bag searches and no fish would be allowed to be taken away from the farm alive.
“You won’t even be able to take away leftovers,” he said.
People raised the possibility of eco-terrorism, pointing to previous incidents where catfish were released into lakes. Others wanted to know if the fish farm would be “locked up like Fort Knox” so no one could steal carp to release into Lake Taupo.
Clarke said that sort of action was out of his control, but he would take all measures to make sure the farm met its operating conditions.
Outdoors Party leader Alan Simmons said grass and silver carp have escaped in every country they have been introduced to and believes New Zealand will not be any different.
“I am concerned about the damage to our fishery that is worth $94 million a year,” he said.
“This has the potential to impact a lot of people.
“What will happen to property values once they [carp] get into the rivers? Take your plans and take them to Auckland.”
Waikato Regional Councillor Kathy White and Taupo District Councillors Rosanne Jollands and Zane Cozens also disagreed with the proposal.
The suggestion was made for residents to continue petitioning against the plan.
Those at the meeting agreed they would write to Barry, Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy, Taupo District Council and Waikato Regional Council to oppose the carp farm proposal in the Taupo district.
The motion was shared by the Advocated for the Tongariro River.
Or a more colourful description was provided by the peoples champion, Didymo Dave:
CARP FARM MEETING…………WHAT A POO FIGHT THAT WAS…
The applicant n a scientist gave a presentation n then it was all on! The scientist was one of those blokes who just wanted to argue so he didn’t come across well. Before the meeting I went up to introduce myself to Mr Clark the applicant n he looked at me like piss off noddy n he may be good at fish farming but he is not a good presenter so that didn’t help. OK Q time started with me asking about the petition etc. Mr Clark dismissed the petition by asking how many people had scene the petition n not signed it? N it went from bad to worse.
Harvey Karaitiana from Waitahanui gave them the message n a nice but firm way that the hapu for that area where the proposed farm is to be hadn’t even been consulted! Other Maori also let them know nicely but strongly that they hadn’t been consulted. Then a bloke from Waikato University that Kathy White had organised, Prof Brennan Hicks spoke n cast scientific doubt on the applicants claims. Another lady spoke who had done some research on the Clarke family business and questioned the stability of the applying company given it was formed not long ago. Then another fella said the value of the fishery was $90 million so since it was a limited liability company how bout putting up a $20 million bond to fix up any escapees n the applicant, arrogantly leaning back in his chair refused n it all went to custard from there.
A motion was put which I will have to get the correct wording on to the Ministers of DOC n MPI basically saying we don’t want it. Then Graham Hamilton spoke to the motion n sunk the applicant even further which was followed by 2 great short speeches by TDC Councillors Rosanne Jollands n Zane Cozens then they took the vote n didn’t even bother counting the hands!
Fantastic night, great result but I wouldn’t trust the applicant as far as I could kick him. So it’s still all on!
The enclosed picture is of a 7lb Grass Carp caught on the fly in Lake Tutira just north of Napier. Looked like there was quite a few of them in the lake and the one I caught was very fit and healthy! Not sure of the water temperature compared to Taupo but they looked to be surviving OK.