Public Access

Here's an idea: let's create a syndicate of anglers who wish to flyfish NZ. Caleb says that although he believes in free access to rivers, he fully understands that when he is older he simply won't be able to afford to fish New Zealand, but he's happy about this because rich Americans and Europeans own the world. Although the spirit of the NZ was free fishing and free hunting - this is what their forefathers believed in, and most New Zealanders still believe in - this won't suit our purposes one bit. Fear not however, we can get around this problem by buying farms and restricting access across our land. We'll put up lots of "Private - Keep Out" signs, and surround the property with barbed wire and electric fences. If any locals wish to fish our rivers, we could consider charging them for the right to cross our property - it won't be cheap of course - maybe we'll insist that they use one of our guides, or stay at our fishing lodge. Or maybe we'll just charge them a flat rate - in the UK we can pay over 200 quid for a day's river fishing, in NZ we could realistically double or even triple this figure. But in general we won't allow it and we'll keep it to ourselves, because we can afford it. After all the British Pound and US Dollar goes a long way in NZ and they simply won't know what's hit them.

Jim says that although the free access New Zealanders have to their waters is an interesting concept, the stocked and expensive trout fishing in the UK is a far better model and one the Kiwis would be well advised to adopt. We'll have to be quick about it because it's already happening and some of the best rivers are already "private". I suppose that morally it is wrong, but we could become rich and so ethics are an unimportant consideration, and we could even argue that it's best for the fishery, making it morally right and muddying the waters; we'll reduce fishing pressure by keeping the Kiwis from fishing their waters. What could be better for any fishery than this? In fact we'll offer to pay an increased visitors licence tax, for fishing this good we expect to pay top dollar. And so their economy will receive a boost.

Deano says fish like this are commonplace around New Zealand, just think how much bigger they'll be when we can't afford to fish for them. I find it interesting that the important things in this world have nothing to do with money, and that somehow when money becomes involved the important things lose their value. NZ trout fishing is beginning to lose its value and because a price is being put on it.

Let's hope that they realise this before it's too late.