Advocate 19/6

Winter Floods

Yesterdays flood registered at 317 cms. It was the 6th flood of more than 70 cms in the last 3 months and only 3 cms less than the flood in early June. These floods are a long way short of the 1958 and 2004 floods but they are important in the life of the river and the functioning of the fishery.

How will anglers cope if the river were to break through in the area of the Downs pool, join up with Deep Creek and exit into Waihi Bay next to the Tailrace. Our President, Gary Brown, likes to fish dowstream and has noticed the increasing volume of water accessing Deep Creek and is concerned that this is a real threat. Gary’s concern is the potential loss of the Delta as we know it today should the full flow of the river divert to Deep Creek.

From the Tongariro River to Deep Creek
Deep Creek from the previous photo towards the Lake.

The issue then is what do we ask of the WRC (Waikato Regional Council). Should we ask that they do nothing and let the river choose its own course or advocate that WRC take all steps possible to keep the river in its current course.

The Taupo Trout Fishery is a valuable part of the economy of the Taupo District Council district. I hesitate to suggest a value from the Tongariro River but a figure of more than $25,000,000 would seem realistic if the fishery is worth $100,000,000 given that some anglers fish the lake, some other rivers but the Tongariro River has, and is, regarded as the world’s best Trout Fishery.

Would it stop trout from finding the new mouth of the river and moving up the river to spawn as has been the case since the introduction of trout. The loss of the Blind and the Hook mouths and the near loss of the First mouth did not deter the spawning runs as the fish found the other mouth, Therefore I think there would be little impact on fishing the river upsteam of the Downs Pool.

It would have an impact on those who fish the existing Delta but then there would be a new Delta within Waihi Bay, It would be significantly different and available only to boat anglers. It wouldn’t be as restricted an area as exists now. The new Delta already exists where the drop off occurs beyond the marker poles.

There would be land issues that go with changes in river courses. There would be issues with TDC wastewater plant.

The Turang Sewage Ponds

If the decision is that work be done to keep the river in its current course the questions become: How much and Who pays?

How much depends on how much protection is seen to be required. It can never be guaranteed that protection won’t be breached. If $10,000,000 was spent and the work was undone by a big flood 20 years later the cost would be $500,000 a year but if you spent that sum and it was undone the following year then it would have been wasted.

The town of Turangi has had stopbanks built since the 2004 flood to keep the river within its current course. The stopbanks are good to keep the town safe from a flood of up to 1500 cms but greater than that flooding will occur.

The earthquake swarm that we have been having displays the instability of the land. It is a sign of earth movement and we know that this area is in a zone of land subsidence. Is this an effect we need to watch.

My opinion is that this would be a sad loss but one that nature will win therefore there will be little benefit from spending millions of dollars to maintain the river course as is.


I hear good fishing reports but I think it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It is easy fishing when a run of fish goes through, I have had one occasion this year when that proved to be the case getting a limit in 1 hour. All fish were quality fish of between 3 and 4 lbs.

I made 1 into Gravlax which was well received.

Using Trout is just as good

I have also made the Rarotongan raw fish recipe Ika Mata which is very good.
Very good use of Trout

Tongariro River Work Plan for 2019-2020

The Proposed Annual Work Programme is on our website: Library Key Documents It is much the same as last year. We hope that the work can be achieved this year.


We are eager to increase our membership. Our members are valued. You are what gives us weight when we talk with Iwi and stakeholders. We are pleased to receive subscriptions from members. It is so easy to think that you have paid your subscription only to realise that is not the case. Send me an email to check. We value new members. The membership form is on our website

Wilding Pines

We received this email re the NZ conference on Wilding Pines. Wilding Pines are a serious concern nationwide.

Subject: NZ Wilding Conifer Conference 2019 – Call for Abstracts

Date: 3 July 2019 at 3:48:33 pm NZST

To: Rowan Sprague <[email protected]>

Kia ora everyone!

The NZ Wilding Conifer Group is seeking papers to be presented at its annual Wilding Conifer Conference to be held in Central Otago in Cromwell from 24 – 25 September 2019. 

The theme of this year’s conference is going to be â€œBoosting wilding control and collaboration”.We want to highlight the progress and challenges in wilding conifer management as well as continue to encourage collaboration between communities and organisations, and research and management.

We also want to demonstrate how innovation in operations, technology and science are being used to increase the cost effectiveness of controlling wilding spread and to prevent spread from occurring again in future. 

The conference format will have three sessions of presentations in the following topics: Advocacy and Connections; Applied Research and Innovation; and Post-control and Restoration. We will also have time for a poster session or 5-minute GEMS talks, and we are prepared to consider papers on other topics relating to wilding conifers.

To submit a paper for consideration, please email your abstract of a maximum of 250 words to Rowan Sprague at[email protected]. When you submit your abstract, please specify whether you’d like to give a 20 minute presentation, 5 minute presentation, or poster.

The call for papers will close on Monday 5 August at 5pm and you will be advised of acceptance by Monday 12 August. 

Please forward this request to anyone who you think would be interested in presenting a paper. 

I will contact regional representatives and community groups separately about giving a talk in our Regional Updates conference session.

We look forward to your response.

Thank you so much!


Rowan Sprague

NZ Wilding Conifer Group Coordinator

m: 027 833 6398

e: [email protected]

Eric Wilson

Secretary Advocates For The Tongariro River.