Long-standing contributor retires
Timaru’s Peter Shutt has had a long involvement with NZ Fishing News, dating back some 28 years when he was first invited to contribute by the then owner, the late Mike Airey.
Announcing his retirement in late April, Peter has been prominent in ensuring Mainland issues have been aired in a national forum.
Peter was appointed South Island Editor and helped the magazine grow from a newsprint publication with just 12 pages of colour to the full-colour, glossy publication readers enjoy today.
A fishing guide for a number of years, Peter has been involved with the administration of the sport, serving as the chairman of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society (the forerunner to the Fish & Game Councils) for 23 years, as well as doing a nine-year stint as a national councillor.
Peter contributed not only to this magazine (where he was instrumental in producing a 16-page ‘Mainland Edition’ for some three years), but also as the fishing correspondent for the Christchurch Press or seven years and the Timaru Herald for a mighty 35.5 years, before retiring in April. There were also periods where he was a weekly contributor to local and national radio.
A fishing guide for many years with a number of regular domestic and international clients, Peter also published Fishing for Trout and Salmon in New Zealand, which sold over 30,000 copies.
Peter has never been afraid to speak out when representing the freshwater fishery, having witnessed firsthand the degradation of waters while fishing most of the trout and salmon fisheries throughout New Zealand since starting fishing in 1948.
Somewhat ironically, this start began in less than ‘honourable’ circumstances.
“My dad got me a licence and rod after I was silly enough to have offered a freshly-tickled trout to someone on the bank admiring my skill – which turned out to be the ranger!” Peter recalls.
“My concerns over the years include the incredible amount of chemical spraying around watersheds, berms, and in-river, along with the huge damage done to waterways by bulldozers during the channelization process.”
He says it will take many decades for river beds to re-establish flows, now further depleted through excessive water consents into areas as porous as the Canterbury Plains, resulting in diminishing flows that prove insufficient to dilute the nitrate and phosphate leachates.
Peter says he has thoroughly enjoyed his association with the magazine throughout the years.
“It has been a great team to work with, and I will miss the monthly contact.”
Editor Grant Dixon says he has always found Peter a great sounding board when it came to dealing with South Island issues, especially dealing with freshwater ‘politics’.
“These can be a minefield, but Peter’s experience and knowledge could always be relied upon to provide a balanced view,” Grant says.
The magazine wishes Peter well in his retirement and trusts he will now find time to get back into his fishing and enjoy travelling with wife Elaine.
Taking over Peter’s Southern Currents column place is Bryce Helms, a tackle representative for Composite Sports. Bryce’s territory covers the entire South Island, so he is well placed to bring readers the latest news and catches from the Mainland.