Tourists flee NZ after being caught fishing illegally
Increasing numbers of freedom campers are fishing illegally in lakes and rivers, with some fleeing the country before they can be prosecuted.
Fish & Game officers are pursuing wrongdoers “to the ends of the Earth” to pay their debts, but say they are struggling to deal with an increase in illegal fishing.
Some flee the country before paying the $500 fine, risking potential court action if they return.
It is an emerging problem in tourism hotspots such as Queenstown and Wanaka, where backpackers have taken to “opportunistic” fishing in picturesque freshwater lakes…
Taupo voted best for cycling.
You will all be delighted that Taupo has come out on top in Bike Wise’s annual “NZ’s favourite place to cycle on-road” category. It is a miracle how they achieved that given the safety hazards on cycling local roads – far too narrow without cycle lanes. It was obviously more influenced by the stunning scenery and Ironman and Cycle Challenge (around Lake Taupo) events. Nearly 2,000 nominations were entered and nearly 10,000 votes were cast. The Otago Rail Trail was still named the grand winner but that is expected to change when the Taupo to Turangi (T2T) trail gets developed. Watch this space…
Landcorp winds back plans:
The Landcorp decision above is important as the potential threat of environmental damage gained priority over the volatile economic benefits. For many years the Tongariro River has been altered and abused to maximise economic benefits for hydro power.
TRM inmates suggest it is past the time to reassess the importance of the environmental impacts to protect NZ’s major economic industry – tourism..
TRM in “flood hazard” zone?
TRM needs to bring you up to date with their “Flood Hazard District Plan Change”. From the feedback last November, when TRM first mentioned the flood hazard threat, we know you will be intrigued by council PC tactics. Control freaks? What a load of old cobblers. TRM has been here over fifty years, has never been threatened by flooding during two major floods, but now these council boffins have decided it is located in a flood hazard zone.
They met with TRM on Tuesday to advise they have removed the RED ALERT warning on the motel – due to the swimming pool that was filled in about eight years ago. Naturally they are never at fault and were only doing their job and blamed Waikato Regional Council for everything. On behalf of all you anglers who complained to TRM, they confirmed they will make strong representations to Waikato Regional Council of your concerns about the Tongariro River aggradation. (but would they? – see below for their pathetic response)
Local examples provided to us – following the TRM report last November – include a local resident, who also lives in Taupahi Road, recently phoned a new insurance company to ask for a quote on their house. When they provided their Turangi address they were declined as they live in a flood hazard zone… If/when they need to extend their existing house it will be a non-complying activity. Their rates will increase as they will have to contribute to all the Waikato Regional Council flood protection works attempting to destroy the trout habitat in the lower Tongariro River. If they want to sell their property the value will suffer as they are situated on a flood hazard zone. etc…..
For the revised District Scheme review the Council planners are now preparing for flood levels in anticipation of global warming effects. True! TRM seriously suggested that to be sure, they should also provide for glaciers on the Tongariro in the next ice age and for volcanic eruptions as well? This really is Council’s PC bureaucracy gone mad.
Last week TRM (Tongariro River Motel) received a circular from the Taupo Council advising to meet with them next Saturday to discuss the flood liability for properties in Turangi. No problem – or so we thought – as TRM was built here in 1951 and was not threatened by the big Tongariro River floods in 2004 and 1956. But SWMBO insisted we should check so we wrote and asked for the flood hazard “Process Map”.
Can you believe there was a nasty red dot warning on TRM’s lawn. Yikes!
This is more serious than you might imagine. Anglers would probably survive as they usually wear their waders to breakfast but a few tourists might not enjoy wading through their units when the next 100 year flood occurs. That would be far more serious.
It gets worse. They advise Waikato Regional Council are now intending to increase our rates to fund their flood protection works on the Tongariro River. Then they get Taupo Council to explain their flood hazard plan. Isn’t that deceitful?
You can imagine how excited SWMBO is about that. (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything at TRM, particularly flood management and political protests) In response to TRM’s inquiry Council sent the following:
If you click on this link it will take you directly to the correct place on the Council website to view the mapping tool to see the effect on your property. http://boplass.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewerz/index.html?id=e38f5ced0da54c06bd821f2e76ba6e95
(Images added of a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ council meddling within a two day time cycle at Bain Pool on lower Tongariro River)
There is more information on this flood hazard plan change on the Council website. Click this link to see the relevant page of the website. http://www.taupodc.govt.nz/our-council/consultation/Pages/Flood-hazards.aspx
Regular readers of TRM Daily Reports will be aware that the Council ‘flood protection’ (?) excavations down river were responsible for ruining the Braids – the most productive trout fishing area below the bridge – by digging a new canal to bypass the Braids which then blew out the lower river beyond the Bends – see Waikato Regional Council (“WRC”) photos. WRC are still quarrying metal down river, out of sight beyond Grace Road, ruining important brown trout spawning redds and destroying the biggest brown trout nursery in NZ. Environmental vandals?.
TRM would have to pass on increased rates by increased room rates to help fund the WRC to ruin your favourite fishing river. We know that would be commercial suicide.
WRC refuse to acknowledge the river is not to blame for flooding. Turangi managed without floods for several thousand years until the WRC started meddling by raising the lake level of their hydro dam – water is gold mentality – at the expense of the environment, tourism, trout breeding, angling and TRM. Now they want ratepayers to pay for their flood protection works. Extraordinary cheek. SWMBO does not accept that. That is why She is manager.
The real problem is the increased lake levels. The natural level of Lake Taupo disappeared in the 1940’s when the lake was raised by the installation of control gates at Taupo. The lake was changed to a hydro storage dam. Since then the level has been raised again to increase the reserve to fuel all those hydro turbines on several power stations down the Waikato River.
This was compounded by the Tongariro Power Development. (If any inmates are interested in all the background TRM have the dvd of the TPD “UNDERGROUND – Tunnelling for Power” by John Ball.)
Now when there is a serious flood – such as last June when the flow reached over 700 cumecs, the increased river flow (usually around 25 cumecs) has nowhere to go. It hits this hydro dam called Lake Taupo and backs up to Turangi. Now whose fault is that? Ratepayers? What bollocks! WRC are responsible.
Here is just one example: The TPD approval was conditional upon a dredge positioned at the delta to make sure the Tongariro River outlet was dredged. On completion of the power scheme it was used to excavate the canal at Lake Otamangakau and then was moved to Twizel. It has never even been seen on the delta.
So the power company controlling the lake levels has to be held accountable. You don’t have to be an Einstein to work that out. It is simple common sense. But Council cannot get their heads around it relying on their “consultants” to confuse them. Then they imagine they can pass the costs on to unfortunate gullible rate payers living near any of the Lake Taupo tributaries. That is bizarre. Quite ridiculous.
So how did TRM win the lottery to get a high hazard red dot on our lawn? Each area has been classified into low, medium and high risk zones. The satellite that decided the classifications spied the old swimming pool at TRM. It was filled in about eight years ago which illustrates how obsolete their data is. Council were immediately notified so intending guests and fishy inmates should survive from the rain today. Just to be sure, the ever cautious SWMBO recommends anglers to wear their waders to bed.
The solution to this problem is so obvious that SWMBO cannot believe Taupo Council have missed it.
Instead of billing ratepayers for the excessive lake levels causing potential flooding, they – Waikato Regional Council – should send the entire bill of costs to Mighty River Power who are responsible for maintaining the excessive lake levels at the Taupo control gates and therefore caused the problem.
All the Tongariro River needs to flush out all the ‘aggradation’ is to lower the lake for a couple of months each year when power demands are at their lowest. (‘aggradation’ is the geographic term for the process of a river depositing sediment on its bed, therefore raising its bed and causing flooding)
So simple really and much easier than a ratepayer revolt.
Below is TRM ‘s video of the lower river mess caused by Waikato Regional Council.
TRM reports to concerned anglers and local residents:
Taupo Council’s ‘Senior Policy Advisor’ Sue Mavor has since advised Waikato Regional Council as follows:
“Hadley and I visited Ross Baker at Tongariro River Lodge, 2 Piri Road, Turangi, this morning to talk through the flood hazard plan change with him and his friend Allan.
Ross raised a number of concerns about the management of the level of Lake Taupō by Waikato Regional Council and Mighty River Power (through the High Flow Management Plan). He considers that flooding results from holding the lake level artificially high and the resulting back wash effect up the Tongariro River, combined with poor river management by Waikato Regional Council.
We agreed that we would pass this information on to you for you to follow up with Ross.”
TRM’s Senior Policy Advisor, SWMBO, considers that is typically ‘passing the buck’… So if you are concerned and wish to complain about the flood hazard risks and environmental damage to the Tongariro? – do not rely on your council…
This is the same pathetic council planning department who have fined TRM $300 for replacing a council sign welcoming you to Turangi. It is difficult to believe they try to encourage tourists to Turangi. More on that to follow…