The Otago Fish and Game council has shown its confidence in
Dave Witherow by re-electing him as its representative to the
New Zealand council.
The Otago council had been pressured by the national body to
replace Mr Witherow after he sent a questionnaire to chairmen
of regional Fish and Game councils accusing the New Zealand
council's chief executive Bryce Johnson of incompetence. It
also questioned the general performance of the council and
sparked legal proceedings.
In a closed meeting in Alexandra on Saturday, the council
discussed the issue and, in open meeting, re-elected Mr
Adrian McIntyre's name was also floated for the position, but
he lost the vote 6:2 to Mr Witherow.
Speaking after the meeting, the Otago council's re-elected
chairman, Monty Wright, said the council selected Mr Witherow
because ''he has been our delegate up there for a
considerable amount of time'' and ''he knows how it works and
has got his finger on the pulse''.
''We didn't see any need to change, even though some people
have tried to bully us into changing.''
He said the Otago council did not consider Mr Witherow's
actions to be wrong.
''He has asked a few questions that have maybe put some
people in a difficult position ... quite relevant questions.
''He did not do it with the permission of the Otago council
... and he has accepted that it was wrong and he has
apologised. That's where it ends for us.''
Also speaking after the meeting, Mr Witherow said he was
''quite confident'' he would be re-elected.
''The Otago Fish and Game council was, as I expected, readily
able to distinguish the real issues from all the bluff and
bluster from the New Zealand council.''
As well as re-electing Mr Witherow and Mr Wright, the Otago
council re-elected its executive board. Adrian McIntyre, Dan
Rae and John Jillett were re-elected and Vicky Whyte was
elected to replace Colin Aldridge, who stepped down for