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Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill

Introduced on August 9. The Bill creates a new regulatory regime for freshwater fisheries including whitebait and eels. First reading completed on September 4 with both NZ First and National saying it would support the Bill to select committee but had doubts about its further progress. These concerns including impact on sports fisheries and property rights. Facing a strong backlash from fishers, land owner representatives and others, the Government has pushed back the select committee report back date from March 12 to June 12. Report back extended again to Aug 5. Reported back on July 31 with a number of changes to accommodate fishers concerns, clarified but still included many DoC powers to enforce no fishing or disturbance areas. Exempted existing hydro dams from the law. The committee said whitebaiters concerns could only be dealt with in the regulations. National opposed the Bill in a minority report. Second reading completed on Aug 22 with National and ACT opposed saying the bill would allow for the banning of whitebaiting, which the govt said was not the plan. Committee stage on Oct 15 with an amendment passed to put a two year moratorium on any catchment plan on conservation land stopping whitebaiting. Third reading on Oct 16 with National and ACT opposed. Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill