Advocate 19/9

My wife and I have recently returned from an overseas trip in which events in NZ have been distant. I am in the process of picking up on matters.

Our ride back to Turangi from Taupo airport required us to take the longer alternative Western access road as the strong winds had blown trees in the plantation at Tauranga Taupo on to the road blocking access between Turangi and Taupo for a period of 12 hours.

Genesis meeting.

Gary Brown and Virginia Church attended the meeting on behalf of the Advocates on Thursday 31st October 2019.

Gary reported:

  1. The meeting was told that last year Hydro generation was low due to a dry year and that coal was imported from Indonesia to bring Huntly into operation.
  2. The station Manager remains: Craig Brown. Holly Molesworth leads the Environmental team. Holly has a background in river ecology with a particular emphasis on Periphyton. Periphyton (the brown slimy slippery substance that covers the stones and rocks in the river) was abundant early this year but was removed by successive freshes throughout the year.
  3. Genesis is increasingly trialing aerial and underwater drones to reduce Health and Saftey risks. Certainly the case regarding tunnel inspections. Discussion on eels (an endangered species) and on Hornwort a weed which is actively trying to be avoided in Otamangakau. There has been an ongoing effort to assist the eels to their spawning grounds in Tonga and to restock young eels in the headwater of the Wanganui River.
  4. Lake Rotoaira Hornwort Weed arrived about 2000 and suspicion that boaties had brought the weed from Lake Taupo. This is the opposite of what has been previously thought, Rotoaira to Taupo. Cam Speedy told the meeting that Swans (banded) at Lake Ellesmere have been shot at Taupo. Hornwort weed is being taken from the screens at the intake grills to the penstocks and being turned into compost. Some 3200 cubic meters annually are taken. A good use of the weed. An automated monitoring system measures the water quality.
  5. Key partnerships for Genesis are Whio For Ever, National Trout Centre and Kiwis Forever.
  6. Michel Dedual spoke about his work on the food web in Lake Taupo. The food supply is variable but is strong if there is a good supply of chlorophyl and this was strongest in 2013.
  7. Bubs Smith spoke enthusiastically about the increased number of Whio in the Tongariro catchment. From the beginning of the effort to increase Whio numbers in 2008 there were only 30 observed, today there are 150. They require fast running water and feed on the same food as trout in the river; Mayflies, stoneflies and caddis.
  8. The meeting is always a good venue to meet with others interested in the Tongariro River Catchment. Gary was pleased to discuss the activity of the Advocates with Te Taking New, Keita Hikiwai Whaanga and Trish Church who expressed a desire to work with the Advocates.

The Conservation (Indigenous Fresh wter Fish) Amendment Bill

The Bill was enacted when Royal Assent was given on 21.10.19

An interesting view was earlier given in the Capital Letter of August 6, 2019, by Editor Penny Pepperill. The page article summary was Electioneering Time (again) and Sports Fishing. Some extracts follow.

“Following none too subtle negative signalling on climate change initiatives, it(The National Party) has pulled out thestops on opposing a bill aimed at providing better protection for threatened indigenous freshwater fish.

“Eugene Sage Consservation Minister, described the bill as a “small technical bill.””

“Never mind earlier this year Aotearoa 2019 Part of the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ’s legislated environmental reporting programme) reported that 76% of native Freshwater fish are at risk or threatened with extinction…Nevermind that the greatest threat to recreational fishing is waterway pollution and over exploitation of resources.”

It is my opinion from the reading of the Act that there is nothing in the bill of concern for the Taupo Fishery.

Bill History

This bill primarily relates to indigenous freshwater fish, and threats to those fish.

Member in charge:Hon Eugenie Sage
Type of Bill:Government
Bill no:87-3
Introduction:09 Aug 2018
First reading:11 Sep 2018
Referred to:Environment Committee
Submissions due:25 Oct 2018
SC Report(s):31 Jul 2019
Second reading:22 Aug 2019
Supplementary Order Paper(s):360, 389, 391
Committee of the whole House:15 Oct 2019
Third reading:16 Oct 2019
Royal assent:21 Oct 2019
Act:Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Act 2019 (2019/55)

Taupo Ramp Permits.

New Ramp Fees.

Annual Lake Taupo Ramp Permit fees came into effect November 1.

Fees are from November 1

24 hour $6 was $5

2 weeks $43 was $35

12 months $110 was $90

Prepare for Plant Invasion

Article in the Dominion Post October 18 2019, Page 11 by Paul Gorman (Stuff) in discussion with Professor Phillip Hulme of Lincoln University.

Professor Hulme is quoted saying New Zealnd’s weed problem is only going to get worse due to climate chandge.

Fishing Report

I glean from others that there are still quality fish to be caught but not as many as at the peak of the season. Fishing at the Delta I am told is hard as there is little or no rip there due to the high lake level. The lake is almost legally full.

Clearance between Te Aho Road and Taupahi Reserve.

There has been a good clean up in most of this area.


John Toogood, Treasurer is making a valiant effort to get our membership up todate from late payments. Remember. Our voice is as strong as our membership.

Eric Wilson