Advocate 19/1

The Tongariro river Catchment

It seems that summer is fading into Autumn. The days are getting shorter. The nights back below 10 which is welcome. The winds of December and January have abated. The day temperatures are nice and warm. The lake surface water is pleasant to swim in. Rain is not forecast until early next week.

The Fishery

I tried the lake a couple of times without success. The odd fish is caught by jigging. There is little enthusiasm in fishing the Delta judging by the lack of boats there, but trout are chasing smelt and the occasional fish is taken. There is a good rip as the lake level is now low.

River Fishing.

I am surprised at the number of anglers on the river at this time. I shouldn’t be surprised as it is the time of Brown trout running and with the huge number of cicadas since early summer both Rainbow and Brown trout are feasting on the abundance of the large insect. A neighbour told of a good day’s fishing catching a 6lb Brown and a smaller Rainbow hen in excellent condition, both with stomach full of cicada.

This morning I fished the lower river without success, but one fish was caught and released by an angler from Colchester, England. As we left the river at 10.30am. an enthusiastic angler was very confident that his day would be successful.

Night fishing has also been successful. I am no longer prepared to fish at night, but it is a good time to catch Brown trout.

Neville Young

It was with sadness that I learned of the death of Neville Young who died on Saturday morning, 10.2.2019. Neville joined the Committee of Advocates For the Tongariro River and became our President, from which he resigned for health reasons. He and Vaerie May sold their homes in Wellington and Turangi and moved to a retirement village in Wanaka. They were in the process of moving to Cambridge when Neville passed away at Waikato Hospital.

I enjoyed the company of Neville. He popped in regularly and we chatted harmoniously together. Neville made me realise why I am proud to be a New Zealander. I said to Neville, in one discussion, that his views and mine conflicted. Neville responded by saying, “That doesn’t matter. We can still be friends.” I thought that a wonderful response and valued his friendship and support.


YOUNG, Neville Garde Austen C.N.Z.M (Uncle Nev). On 9 February 2019, peacefully and with family by his side at Waikato Hospital, aged 78. Dearly loved husband and best friend of Valerie May. Adored father of Anna and Jenny and admired father-in-law of Cameron and Simon.Treasured Grandpa of Maisie, Amelia, Archie, Harry and Ruby. Loved brother of Willie, Hebe and the late Juliet. Messages may be sent to the family c/- 306 Willis St., Wellington 6011. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hawea Dementia Unit, Presbyterian Support Otago, P.O. Box 374, Dunedin 9054 or may be left at the service. A private cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service to celebrate his extraordinary life will be held at The Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, Hill Street, Wellington on Friday 15 February 2019 at 2.30pm.”No more locked doors Nev, just a big wide river – ‘tight lines’.” Lychgate Funerals FDANZ in The New Zealand Herald on Feb. 12, 2019

From the first Committee Meeting of 2019

The Committee met on Saturday, 3 February.


A tentative date for the AGM is set for 27th April, the (Saturday following Anzac Day on the 25th April), time 10.00am at the schoolroom at the National Trout Centre.

Subscriptions remain as for 2018, being $25 for an individual subscription, $30 for a family subscription and $60 for a commercial subscription. Subscription forms will be emailed later this week.

A key concern discussed was the lack of implementation of the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) Tongariro River Flood Control Work programme. This is the second year in which the vegetation control programme has not occurred to date. There was significant protection work done below State Highway 1 bridge. The intended Work Programmes for both 2017-18 and 2018-19 are on this wensite – Library, Key Documents. The window of opportunity for this work is now fading for this season as WRC has until Easter to complete the year’s programme.

I visited the National Trout Centre (NTC) a couple of times lately. It is a wonderful facility for Turangi and angling. I have visited the Trout Centre on Granville Island in Vancouver and the Centre at Te Anau and consider the NTC to be first class and ahead of any rivals that I know of.

The trout in the Waihukahuka stream above the bridge into the NTC are what anglers dream of.

The Blue Duck enclosure allows close- up experience of these birds at risk. The day after my last visit I had entertainment provided (while fishing) by a pair of Whio who paddled across the river within 5 metres in front of me to access the rapid flowing into the pool. I hadn’t previously appreciated their ability to dive, stay underwater for 1 minute and in the torrent of the rapid, emerge at the same place they dived. As one bird fed the other had swum to the other side and whistled for its mate. Special.

The writing of this blog has been a challenge for me in that the programme I use has been upgraded and I am learning a new format. I have still to learn to transfer photos but will master for the next blog.


The Committee also considered various ways to increase membership and the key was that ‘members get members’. The committee asks each member to get 1 new member. The value in membership numbers is the voice that we have when in discussion with key parties. We look forward to your continued membership and your support to increase membership.

Eric Wilson, Secretary.