Advocate 23/2

Tragedy on the River.

Sadly,a local man drowned in the Tongariro river near the Major Jones bridge in March. A Rahui was in place until Monday, 27th of March.


River Flows

The river has been flowing at double the normal flow rate. From Monday 6 March through to 28 April work was being undertaken on the Poutu  Intake.The work was expected to finish before then but is now scheduled to finish Tuesday 2nd May. The river is currently  closer to the flows pre Tongariro Power Development time. It has been noticeable that there have been fewer anglers on the river. River flow is faster and pools are deeper.

On the 22nd April there was a significant flood of 225 m3/s brought about by a heavy rainfall of 82.5 mm in just a few hours. Waterlogged soils keep flood flows longer. The river is still affected by that flood and is currently running at close to 60m3/s. 

Definition of a River Bed

The Resource Management Act defines a  river bed as:

the space of land which the waters of the river cover at its fullest flow without overtopping its banks,”

Article in the Dominion Post Saturday April 8th 2023, “How 19 words thwarted efforts to save our braided rivers.”  The 19 words are the definition of a river bed from the Resource Management Act, I did not see in the Natural and Built Environment Bill (NBA) and Spatial Planning Bill (SPA) which are two of the three Bills replacing the RMA with a 3rd Bill, Climate Adaptation Bill (CAA), introduced sometime this year. In my cursory look at the NBA I did not find the definition of a river bed. I guess the old definition will remain.

Sam Neill on the joys of fly fishing

Sam Neill from his book:

Did I Ever Tell You This. Page 51

“The lasting legacy of all this is my undiminhished love of fly-fishing. When I can I walk up some of the most remote rivers in the world with a friend or two and stalk some of the best trout in the world. I’m not brilliant at this and sometimes I catch nothing. Doesn’t matter. There is no better day to be had. All those I do catch are released and live to fight another day. It is the most sublime thing I know how to do, and the most thrilling by far.”

One man’s enjoyment of trout fishing probably expressing a view held by many.


Ever wondered what TFAC is, its purpose, current matters under consideration, who attends to represent you? If you are a keen angler fishing the Tongariro River then become a member of Advocates for the Tongariro River.

TFAC (Taupo Fishing Advisory Committee) is a body set up by Government within DOC. TFAC now has its own website and Agenda and minutes of meetings are now available on this site.

Here is the link to the page:

Simply click To follow the link. Click on Agenda and minutes in the paragraph headed Meetings.

Aerial Survey

In the President’s report for the 2022 Annual Report, Gary wrote:


During the November meeting it was decided to investigate the most appropriate method of obtaining an aerial photographic river survey to assist with mapping locations where river maintenance work is needed and where better angler access would be desirable. The committee agreed to fund the survey to be carried out during the 2023 year.

I can now report that this helicopter survey was carried out on Monday 17 April 2023.

Photos from the trip follow.



The issues that we saw were in the Delta, and also the trees that have fallen in the river as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle (bigger problems than the photo above shows) upstream of the Fence Pool. We will ask Waikato Regional Council about our concern on this matter and whether there will be any action taken by them. The videos made will be discussed at our AGM and following Committee meeting on 20th May. Then we will decide where and how they will be made available. What happens to those trees in the event of a flood?

The devastation caused by Gabrielle to the surrounding pine forests is enormous. The native trees seem to have withstood the cyclone far better than the pines. The comment is made that in Cyclone Bola the trees were blown over but in Cyclone Gabrielle the pines were snapped off with the roots firmly in the ground.

A point of interest was that we flew from the Delta to the Poutu Intake, starting at noon, and saw only 2 anglers fishing at that time.

Lastly, two reminders:

  1. Subs. Thankyou if you have paid –  reminder if you haven’t.
  2. Our Annual General Meeting. 139 Taupahi Road, Turangi, Saturday 20 May 2022  9.30am.  All welcome. It would be appreciated if you could let us know of your intention to attend.