Witherow re-elected as Fish and Game representative

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 Witherow.

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 personal reasons.


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