Letters to the editor
Whistle not whinge
According to your article ["Referee calls off match early", Express, June 23], two players were sent from the field during a division 1 football match and the referee was then subject to abuse from visiting officials resulting in the referee calling the game off 20 minutes early.
The referee is to be congratulated for having the courage to call the game off in the face of this abuse. He nor any other volunteer official have to put up with the deplorable behaviour described in the article.
One does wonder who these ill-disciplined Neanderthals think they are to behave in such a way.
Oh yes, one can hear the cries of these individuals whinging about the performance of the referee. That is irrelevant.
What is relevant is the referee is the referee. He may not be right all the time but he is still the referee.
Why can't these individuals, the players or the offending officials concerned just accept the rulings of an official and get on with the game? It's called discipline, self control and having respect for others.
So. Do these individuals care one iota about the public image of the game? Clearly not. Do they understand that without referees there would be no game? Clearly not.
I challenge any one of these heroes to firstly make a public apology to the referee and secondly take the whistle for a season and see how they go. Very poorly one would suspect given their demonstrably explosive temperament and penchant for exceedingly poor sportsmanship.
Hopefully, the judiciary within the game will clamp down hard on these individuals.
Question of size
Some years ago while scalloping in the Marlborough Sounds I was boarded and inspected by the then MAF officials.
My catch was counted and found to be in order and every scallop was measured with one coming in at 89mm (1mm under the regulation size) due to having broken edges around the outer shell from tossing in our bin.
The enforcement officer was quite lenient in letting me off this "offence" but advised that I should be more careful in future as it was the size they measured when on the boat that counted.
Just last week I caught a large blue cod which, when landed, had its tail missing having been attacked by a barracutta on its way to the boat..
When measured it came in a shade under 35cm.
Given the current regulations I was left wondering what would MPI think if I kept this "obviosly large" cod as it was still in a perfectly filletable state.
It was suggested [Express, June 23] that I proposed a licence for recreational fishers at the recent annual meeting for Marlborough recreational fishing.
The reality is that all the candidates present were asked: "What is your vision for the strategic management of recreational fishing in NZ?"
In an endeavour to create some discussion at the meeting, I simply asked those present whether a fish licence would be a useful tool for empowering the various recreational fishing organisations to fund research and policies independently of the Ministry for Primary Industries and commercial fishing interests.
The suggestion of a licence is not Labour Party policy, nor am I advocating it.
There are, however, a host of policy changes that I do want to see immediately adopted, such as ending the stupid cod slot rule, which would have immediate benefits for fish stocks but which the Government refuses to consider.
Angus Cameron's letter [Express, June 23] about scallop mismanagement highlighted the apathy of the 800,000 Kiwis who go fishing.
Apathy is rife. For instance 800,000 New Zealanders did not vote last election. And too many anglers are lame and limp over outrageous local fishing issues.
The Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association (MRFA) was formed in 1997 when the Marlborough Sounds recreational snapper bag limit was slashed to three with no corresponding reduction in commercial or customary. That move was unjust as recreational anglers had not depleted the fishery.
Excess commercial exploitation and beach seining caused the damage and depletion of this fishery but the recreational public alone copped the punishment. MRFA has been battling the same discrimination over blue cod and set netting.
Three ministers in the last six years have done little, or nothing, to right the wrongs. At the annual meeting last week the association put four candidates in the upcoming general election on the mat to answer questions.
Before September 20 all anglers should ask searching questions of all candidates.
I note that Angus Cameron was not present at the annual meeting where he could have put questions. So, too, could many other Marlborough fishers who, like Angus, are not members of MRFA but for the sake of just $15 should support the association striving for fairness and sensible management.
Send a cheque to MRFA, Box 384, Blenheim or pay online (add name, phone number) to SBS (031 355 0509847 00).
Don't let apathy dominate.
Chairman, Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association
Two weeks ago a miracle occurred in Picton. The rain came down down, down, and the brand new, marvellous and expensive bus shelter lovingly modelled for this surprisingly perfect yet somehow dated little town did nothing.
Yes, there was absolutely no shelter from the rain.
The wind, particularly with any westerly element, roared on through. Huddled masses, many taking what comfort they could from the i-Site roof, would then come to the warm, idling bus only to be drenched by the cascades of water which ran off the slope of the elegant, windowed roof line.
(In the blaze of a summer day, this architecturally sleek, sharp slope bakes the waiting passenger. Tasty tourists are morsels of delight.)
Thanks all of you who were so determined and forceful to bring to backward little Picton this edifice of wonder. I can't wait to see what's next.
- The Marlborough Express