Other people around galaxiids

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While Otago non-migratory galaxiids are not a widely discussed topic, there have been many people and organizations whose actions and attitudes can be important for the future of galaxiids.
If you want to know more about these stakeholders and their connection to Otago non-migratory galaxiids, click on "Read more":

Ecologically concerned people, organizations

While native fish and galaxiids are not a widely discussed topic, there have been some people and organizations that have showed their support in some comments.

A. Organizations:

1. Media. the topic of native fish appears from time to time in the ODT. Publications were mainly concerned topic of whitabaiting or about the Navis Dam case*. Latelly, project “Growing Otago Galaxiids” was featured in press. 

*Nevis Dam Case: when the dam on the Nevis River was not constructed due to the presence of a rare native fish (golum galaxiid). 

2. The Green Party
"Called today for farmers, councils and the Government to protect whitebait habitat from the impacts of livestock and industry." ODT, Aug, 2008
"Native fish study alarms Greens" ODT, Sep, 2010

B. People:

1. Lachlan McKenzie, Farmer. Retiring Federated Farmers Dairy chairman. 
Sees trout as killers of New Zealand's freshwater biodiversity. ODT, Feb 2012

2. Craig Potton, photographer

"Native fish such as galaxiids should be valued as much as the kiwi and other native birds", says Craig Potton, from Central Otago filming the Clutha River episode of a television documentary. ODT, 2010

3. Photographer Rod Morris specializes in natural photography and has created portraits of galaxiid fishes.


Whitebait is popular New Zealand delicacy. Individual interests in whitebaiting  tends to be centred around the young galaxiids caught for fritters, with little understanding of the adult fish itself. In New Zealand whitebait refers to juveniles of migratory galaxiids. They are caught with nets when they migrate upstream from the sea.  Although non-migratory galaxiids don’t contribute to whitebait, whitebaiting provides a point of reference, when talking about all galaxiids.

Whitebaiting is practiced all around New Zealand coastlines, but the most popular spot is the West Coast of South Island. There are some restrictions on whitebaiting, such as the use of one net per person, and the use of fishing gear that doesn’t exceed one third of the stream width. 

Whitebait provides an interface between galaxiids and the general public through organisations, wine and food festivals and individual consumers. The main whitebait organisations are located on the west coast of the South Island. The largest whitebaiting organisation 'West Coast Whitebaiters Association' (WCWA) aims to protect fishing rights and have prevented DoC regulations on whitebaiting along the West Coast. However, another main focus for WCWA is to keep the waterways clean.

A. Commercial whitebaiting
Curly Tree Whitebait Company - buying and selling whitebait on the West Coast of the South Island NZ.

B. Recreational whitebaiting
West Coast Whitebaiters' Association - protect whitebait fishers. Safety concerns.


The non-migratory galaxiids are not of a particular interest to iwi, probably due to their secretive nature and small size. These native fish haven’t become a valuable part of the maori culture; the species from Galaxiid vulgatis complex don’t even have maori names. 
Several Iwi (tribes) aim to manage and develop their own natural resources and assets sustainably, so they can be utilized by future generations. Several Iwi have their own freshwater management systems which incorporate traditional sustainable practices combined with knowledge provided by the Department of Conservation (DoC). Iwi and hapu (sub-tribes) such as Waikato/Tainui, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Maniapoto are working together with DoC, National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) and local councils on river restoration projects, specifically whitebait habitat restoration. These projects include re-vegetation of riverbanks with native plants to filter the land run-off from farms.
These projects are also aimed at engaging and educating the wider community on the issues faced by freshwater species.

A. Protect areas:
1. Tōpuni are South Island areas specially protected by Ngāi Tahu because of their significance to the tribe. The word tōpuni means ‘to cover’ – referring to the custom where a person of high rank claimed authority over areas or people by laying a cloak over them. The best known tōpuni covers Aoraki/Mt Cook, in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

2. Nohoanga are Māori seasonal occupation sites, usually on lake shores or river banks, where fish and other resources were traditionally harvested. They are usually no bigger than 1 hectare, and are located so as not to interfere with public access or use. As Treaty of Waitangi claims are settled, more nohoanga are likely to be created.

3. Private land, Ngā Whenua Rāhui. A special fund, Ngā Whenua Rāhui, was set up in 1991 to encourage voluntary preservation of ecosystems on Māori land. The Māori owners retain tino rangatiratanga (ownership and control). The Minister of Conservation has approved over 95 proposals, covering 112,000 hectares.

B. South island Iwis
1. Ngai Tahu is the principal Māori iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. 
"Wainono (lake in the southern Canterbury) is very significant to tangata whenua as a food source. It is also important for birdlife and native fish, and we will be working in partnership with Ngāi Tahu to help restore the values of the area," (ODT, Mar, 2012)


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    July 2013