New chief executive named

Newly appointed Otago Fish & Game Council chief executive Ian Hadland on the banks of the Leith,...
Newly appointed Otago Fish & Game Council chief executive Ian Hadland on the banks of the Leith, in Dunedin, yesterday. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Following a life-time of working on the "outdoor edge" of conservation and fish and game management, Ian Hadland has been appointed Otago Fish & Game Council's chief executive.

Mr Hadland grew up on the West Coast and credits his father with instilling a "deep passion" for conservation and the pursuits of hunting and angling.

"I think that's inherited from being raised in a rural area and having a background in hunting and harvesting from the wild and making good use of that.

"I get that from my father. He was a deer hunter and a possum hunter and a small-scale farmer.

"He was a big believer in conserving fish and game so future generations could enjoy it as well."

Mr Hadland initially worked for the Department of Conservation as a ranger in Hokitika and then for the West Coast Fish & Game Council as an officer before taking a Fish & Game officer position in Otago in 2003.

In 2008, he was promoted to operations manager, overseeing the implementation of the annual plan.

His project work included design and construction of the Macraes Trout Hatchery, hosted by Oceania Gold, and restoration of the Takitakitoa wetland on the Lower Taieri.

He has been a leading wetland advocate within the region.

In 2014, he completed a bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Otago.

Since then, he has been involved in management of the national fish and game licencing system, and has led national initiatives on angler and hunter retention and recruitment.

Otago Fish & Game Council chairman Monty Wright was delighted to see Mr Hadland emerge from a strong field of well qualified applicants to take the position.

"Ian is a homegrown talent and he will, I believe, do an excellent job for the council ... in an increasingly challenging environment for fish and game resources.

"As a lifelong angler and hunter, he connects easily and well with our licence holders and related stakeholder groups.

"And as someone who grew up in the rural community, he understands agriculture and the issues faced by farmers."

Mr Hadland said he placed great emphasis on positive relationships in resolving resource issues affecting rivers, lakes and wetlands.

"I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to take on the chief executive's position. It has been an ambition of mine and I am determined to do it justice."

He will take over the role from Niall Watson, who will retire in May after 39 years in fish and game management.

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