Thursday Update #15

DoC presence in Turangi to be reduced

I am personally upset at learning about the changes to the DoC structure and the idea that the administration of the Tongariro, Whanganui, Taranaki Conservancy is to be based in Taupo. The Turangi office will be downgraded along wuth the Whanganui and New Plymouth offices.
 I am a long term Turangi resident with the belief that the Tongariro river is the life force of this community. DoC manages the Taupo fishery. Will there be the same concern for the river from Taupo?
The Advocates’ committee have not yet had the opportunity to consider the implications of the restructuring of DoC and the the views I express tonight may not be the views of the Advocates. Let me be quite clear that this Update tonight is my view alone and that I am upset that the town of Turangi is again suffering another loss of  economic opportunity.
My concern is the loss of  a segment of Turangi’s workforce. I predict staff moving from Turangi to Taupo ie selling up in Turangi and buying in Taupo. I have seen this before -the dismantling of  the Forest Service  to private enterprise, the changes in electricity administration, the dismantling of Hautu and Rangipo prison villages and the impact of  these on Turangi.
Where does the management of the Taupo fishery fit into this new structure?  The Tongariro river is the jewel in the crown of  of the Taupo fishery and in NZ freshwater fishing.
Significant losses have occurred this year in the fishery staff. John Gibbs retired, Glenn Mclean resigned and John Webb has resigned.  These people had a wealth of knowledge  that has been lost now. This may have happened without restructuring but when will that expertise be regained?
I wish to be reassured that the restructuring will result in equal or better management of the fishery.
A press release from the Maori Part says:

Decision to move conservancy ‘ridiculous’ – Turia

Maori Party, Fuseworks September 15, 2011, 12:06 pm

Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru is outraged at the decision to move the Whanganui, Taranaki and Turangi office to a new conservancy office in Taupo.

“This is a ridiculous proposition on two counts. Firstly, the new Conservancy will be three hours from the greatest concentration of population and only one hour from the neighbouring conservancy office in Rotorua. This makes no sense”.

“Secondly the decision has been made with no apparent engagement with mana whenua; the general public or the Member of Parliament for this region.

“This is an issue that has angered our communities for at least the last eighteen months, and I have written to the Minister and met with her over that time, alerting her to the people’s frustration about any thought of placing the amalgamated conservancy at the furtherest end of the region”.

“I do not appreciate learning at the eleventh hour about decisions which have such dire consequences across our rohe”

“The last thing one expects when there are other significant negotiations between iwi and the Department of Conservation, is that relationships are threatened by decisions which create barriers to access and engagement”.

“The drive to collect staff together physically in one service centre is yesterday’s thinking. With ultrafast broadband being implemented early in Whanganui, why isn’t the Minister taking advantage of the technology to allow technical staff to remain in Whanganui and work remotely?”

“These positions are held by people who have a long tenure, some around twenty years. One would think some understanding would be made to show them some respect for the commitment they have given to Conservation”.

“The announcement to move the base away from the people makes a mockery of Conservation’s supposed desire to work in partnership with its community.

“The office should be located amongst the people it serves – we are extremely annoyed that the effect of this decision will make access that much more difficult for the iwi and the constituent communities that the conservancy will serve”.

Demographic profile: Whanganui – 40,000; New Plymouth – 69,000; Turangi – 3500

Fishing Report

It’s been a much better week for fishing. It has rained from Sunday with showers still continuing, 16.9mm for the week. This has caused a slight increase in the flow of the river. Most anglers I know of have enjoyed success. The fish have been pleasing in their size (still struggling to be much bigger than 3 lbs) and condition.

I caught my first slab of the season yesterday though I know others have been caught earlier in the month. It should be good fishing for the next couple of weeks.

Tongariro at Turangi – River-flow

Eric  Wilson

Secretary Treasurer