A report outlining recommendations to strengthen the governance and good management practices within NZ Fish & Game has been released by Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall.
Fish & Game manages sport fishing and game bird hunting across NZ and has had an unaltered structure since it was set up in 1990.
The report is the result of a ministerial review initiated last year by former Minister Eugenie Sage in order to ensure Fish & Game’s governance and structure were “fit for purpose” today.
The independent review, undertaken by Belinda Clark and John Mills, found Fish & Game plays an important role in environmental advocacy and stewardship. It also identified significant opportunities to strengthen governance and management good practices.
“These opportunities to strengthen governance and good practice are something Fish & Game can proceed with immediately – in fact some of these actions are already underway,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.
“A second group of recommendations would require legislative change. As Acting Minister I am seeking further advice from the Department of Conservation on these, as they require careful consideration by the Government, given policy and legislative implications.
“In the meantime Fish & Game has sufficient work to do on implementing best practice. The review gives them good guidance.”
“An implementation steering group will also be established to monitor progress. It will be chaired by Fish & Game national chairman Ray Grubb and supported by senior staff from Fish & Game and the Department of Conservation.
Dr Verrall thanked the reviewers for doing a thorough job, engaging widely with stakeholders and proposing solutions to some long-standing issues.
“I am now looking forward to Fish & Game adopting changes which will make it a much more fit-for-purpose organisation in terms of serving its core stakeholders, enabling Māori expression of rangatiratanga and in protecting the freshwater and other values so precious to all New Zealanders.”