Licence overhaul delayed

Ian Hadland
Ian Hadland
A push to overhaul Fish and Game's licence system to give anglers more choice and cheaper licence options has been delayed a year.

Complications due to the legislation under which Fish and Game and its licence system operated had delayed the process, Otago Fish and Game operations manager Ian Hadland said.

Earlier this year, Fish and Game councils from around New Zealand and the national council approved the proposal for a range of new licence options.

These included a new loyal senior licence, three-day and nine-day licences and a local area licence.

The development of the new options had come at the demand of anglers, Mr Hadland, who is also the licence project co-ordinator, said.

Nelson man Ken Robinson contacted the Otago Daily Times after discovering he would have to buy a full season licence for 10 days of fishing in Queenstown later this year.

''I was, quite frankly, shocked to find that I would have to buy a full season licence for $121, as the only other licence available is a 24-hour licence at $24, [which] at 10 days would be $240.''

He could not understand why New Zealand did not offer the same variety of fishing licences as other countries.

Mr Hadland said it had been hoped to have the new licences in place by the start of the fishing season in October, but the aim was now for next season.

The Department of Conservation had examined the proposals and found a range of complications.

A dual hunting and fishing licence was one of the proposed options.

However, among the ''glitches in legislation'', hunting and fishing licences were legislated under separate Acts.

It was hoped legislation could be amended or licence options tweaked within another 12 months.

''This is what anglers have asked for and we are still committed to getting it in next year.''

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