First Month in New Zealand
I have now been in New Zealand for a little over a month, and the time has flown! To be honest, I have been having an absolute blast. I have been letting myself have a lot of fun as well as trying to learn as much as I can about Maori fishing. My goals for my time in New Zealand are to learn about Maori history related to fishing, current Maori fishing policy, and salmon farming in New Zealand.
I have been spending many days on the river fishing trout. I love to imagine the rivers before the colonization by Europe. I love to imagine the rivers with their native fish, not the rainbow trout, brown trout, and chinook salmon that were introduced to New Zealand in the 1800’s and 1900’s. I have been really enjoying the fishing and combining my time on the river with learning about the Maori’s connection to this land.
I have primarily fished the Ahuriri river and the Clutha river. Both these river basins were used by the Maori to travel. Along the river the Maori found precious stones. The Clutha river was used by the Maori to gather fibers, hunt birds, and fish eel.
Sadly many of the species that lived on these rivers have become extinct. Fish like the New Zealand grayling became extinct after the introduction of trout by European settlers. And many many birds became extinct after the introduction of mammals such as possum by European settlers. New Zealand is not unique in its history of violent colonization, but I do believe that it has one of the worst biological histories caused by introduced/ invasive species. The impact from European settlers has completely altered the biodiversity of New Zealand.
In addition to fishing and immersing myself in Maori culture, I have been hiking and mountain biking as much as I can. For my time in New Zealand, I really wanted to spend time doing some of my hobbies from back home. Here are some photos from some adventures!