A “Stuff” sourced update on the issues and controversy surrounding the introduction of trout farming in NZ has been repeated on TRM Facebook. This is a “must read” article for all Taupo based anglers. After 16 years of controversial fishy TRM blogs, there is no other issue that generates more outrage amongst anglers than the threat of the introduction of trout farming to the Taupo fishery. We do not know of any anglers (Taupo licence holders) who support it. All the warning signs are there based on unfortunate experience in overseas farms where diseases have decimated native stocks.
Yet in Turangi, the Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust continues its preparations to use it for a trout farm. They have even applied to the Provincial Growth Fund for costs of development – i.e. they want NZ’ers to pay for it as well…
Unfortunately, TRM (Tongariro River Motel) has been previously attacked over this issue. When a Fish & Game press release on trout farming was repeated on TRM Facebook a few years ago, Tina Porou, who is now Rotoaira Forest Trust General Manager, demanded it had to be removed. Then she suggested they had been watching us for some time and that TRM was considered to be anti-iwi and anti-Tuwharetoa? i.e. Rather than debate or discuss the trout farming issue, she reverted to obscure racist allegations. Extraordinary claims followed suggesting we needed to complete their course of study of the Treaty? Eventually, TRM banned them!
Then TRM received more threats etc – i.e. the last person to ban them had died an early death, do not sit next to a window at night with any lights on as it would be an inviting target, etc. The other responses have been expanded in more detail in that new book TONGARIRO Skulduggery, only available from TRM.
Quite ridiculous response, which is mentioned to indicate the depth of local feelings by some extremists.
Compared to the rest of NZ, the Taupo fishery has different characteristics which makes it so much more vulnerable. Lake Rotoaira drains into the Tongariro River via the Poutu Stream. Therefore any whirling disease or similar biological problems must end up in Lake Taupo and into the Waikato River. That would threaten most of the North Island trout fishery. That alone should be sufficient reason to ban any form of trout farming on Lake Rotoaira.
While Fish & Game manage the trout fishery and issue licences etc. for the rest of NZ, the Taupo trout fishery is managed by a Government Department – DOC (Department of Conservation) – which makes them that much more vulnerable as they claim their treaty “partners” are Tuwharetoa. Therefore they are more politically inclined to follow Tuwharetoa’s plans, if only to avoid conflict. Many anglers have reminded us in the past that nowhere in the Treaty does it mention any form of partnership, but that is another matter. Similarly many anglers would prefer one single management authority and one fishing licence for all of NZ. That is also another issue as Fish & Game management is currently under review by DOC which understandably makes them more vulnerable in any controversial decision-making, to avoid conflict with Government’s plans for them.
The Stuff article particularly addresses the Taupo issues – i.e.
“Fish and Game needed to address the issue, the review paper stated, as the Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust was not only asking for legislative change on trout farming but it had an application into the Provincial Growth Fund.
In September, LRFT general manager Tina Porou did not want to comment on any PGF application.
Unless successful, PGF applications in-waiting are not necessarily made public due to commercial sensitivity and while no money was awarded to the trust in the last PGF pre-election tranche, the LRFT, along with a number of other iwi-based organisations like the 15-member Iwi Collective Partnership, Lake Taupō Forest Trust, Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Ngati Tuwharetoa Fisheries Charitable Trust, Ngati Ruapani Ki Waikaremoana and Ngati Pikiao were all among the supporters of the petition’s call for a rethink on trout farming.” etc…
This article will be of particular interest to all Taupo trout anglers.