About West Cost Whitebaiters Association Incorporated

View our Constitution (PDF 126.68kb)


On the 14th. June 1994 a meeting of concerned fisherpeople was held at Hari Hari to express concern and disatisfaction that the Department of Conservation were changing the rules for whitebaiting on the West Coast. Intended changes to timing of the fishing season were causing the greatest concern.

West Cost Whitebaiters Association Incorporated

This and subsequent meetings up and down the West Coast were the basis for the formation of this Association. It is now history this Association, with able assistance from then Wellington lawer Mr. Tony Ford (now Chief Judge in Tonga) were able to reverse the original D.O.C. decision and have the West Coast whitebaiting season returned to it's original dates.

Since then this Association has been in almost constant consultation with D.O.C. and discussed a myriad of issues affecting whitebaiters and whitebaiting

While much of the work of this Association has been one of advocacy, working with government and local bodies (D.O.C. Regional and District Councils etc.) it also provides an important forum to allow individuals to express their views and air personal opinions on how they see the future of the fishery. Both from a fishing point of view and conservation for the future.

Objects of Association

  • To protect and enhance by all possible means the interests of whitebait fishers in the territorial areas covered by the Whitebait Fishing(West Coast) Regulations 1994 or any replacement regulations or statutory provisions.
  • To encourage, promote and safeguard in any manner which the Association thinks fit the conservation and propagation of all species of whitebait in the recognition that the resource must be preserved for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • To recognise and honour the Treaty of Waitangi,

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Infromation from the meeting we had with DOC this week re regulations and policeing for this season:

As another whitebait season rolls around stand holders up and down the Coast will be preparing for the coming season. Before they start constructing stands, whitebaiters need to ensure they are fully conversant with the rules that apply. These rules are spelt out in the consent documents they receive from the Regional Council. These rules are going to be enforced. The practice of hammering a couple of stakes into the riverbed to hook up a sock net will not suffice.  We are informed that these rules will be enforced.
A whitebait stand or platform is a structure that can be walked on for the purpose of whitebait fishing. Its location and dimensions will be spelt out in the consent information. Permission to vary these needs to be gained from Council, before making changes.  Keeping sites tidy, and removal of stands, shelters etc. after the season, are also matters that will be policed.
If we all get conversant with the rules, and do our bit, it will help make this a pleasant and hopefully productive season.
Des McEnaney.

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