New Zealand's fishing licence system may be overhauled to
give anglers more choice and cheaper licence options.
A proposal for a range of new licences will go before Fish
and Game councils around New Zealand in coming months before
going to the national council and then the Conservation
Minister for final approval in time for the start of this
year's fishing season.
The Otago Fish and Game Council will consider the proposal
today at its first meeting of the year.
The proposed changes included a loyal senior licence, which
at $102.85 was cheaper than an adult whole season licence at
$121, and targeted anglers older than 65, who had been
fishing for more than five consecutive years.
Other proposed new options were a combined fishing and
hunting licence ($180), and a short break licence (three
days) costing $48.50 and long break licence (nine days) at
$84.70. An adult 24-hour licence was $19.
To cater for those who only fished in one region, a local
area licence had also been proposed costing $96.80.
Fish and Game Otago operations manager Ian Hadland, who was
project co-ordinator for the development of the new licences,
said two rounds of consultation had taken place with licence
holders in an effort to develop licence categories that met
''We have a one-size-fits-all system that doesn't fit all.
That's the trouble.''
Feedback had been ''overwhelmingly in favour'' of change to
better fit categories with price.
Responses indicated a senior citizen-type licence and a dual
licence would be met favourably.
As people had only the option of a one-day licence or a
full-season licence, it was hoped the proposed three and nine
day options would better meet the requirements of those who
mainly fished on holidays.
The economic impact of the changes had also been tested and
had shown licence revenue could, if anything, increase
slightly, so it would not have a major effect on the
organisation, he said.
''It showed people would switch between licences or
The proposed changes had been made possible by the licence
system going online, which had reduced the cost of changes
that had previously required licence books to be printed.
''It has streamlined the process.''
While change was difficult for some, the introduction of the
family licence about 10 years ago had proved how successful
it could be, Mr Hadland said.
''It's one of our most popular and successful categories.''
The 12 Fish and Game councils had the opportunity to confirm
the licence changes or amend them before they were considered
by the national council.