Read the January 2013 project update for the Taupō Sports Fishery review.

Exploring Future Opportunities

A draft report has been developed and presented to the Governance Group late December 2012.  The report was structured around presenting the opportunities that had developed out of previous meetings, the public engagement process and the Economic assessment that had been received. The opportunities were aligned with the previously identified groupings of Goal, Governance, The Fish, Participation and Partnerships.

These were broken down further into the following areas:

  1. Establishing a clear goal
  2. Creating an effective Governance Structure (Crown, Ngati Tuwharetoa, the importance of the anglers and the role of TFAC)
  3. Managing, maintaining, enhancing the sports fish resource
    a. Science and monitoring
    b. Management interventions
    c. Role of the Hatchery
    d. Compliance
  4. Participation
    a. The Licensing system (online, national, annual and family licences)
    b. Communication
    c. Defining the product and destination (National Trout Centre, Tongariro River, Lake Rotoaira and Lake Kuratau)
    d. Making it easier to fish
  5. Developing more effective partnerships
    a. Fish and Game
    b. Tourism and commercial sector
    c. Lake Rotoaira Trust

The report is currently in the process of being finalised after further comments are received by the TMTB and others. It is anticipated that the final report will be released in February 2013.

Engagement Process

The engagement process was bought to a close in December 2012, with November seeing an intense period of meetings and workshops including:

  • 7 November focus group meeting with local fishing guides
  • 16 November focus group meeting with business development and marketing reps
  • 28 November 2012 Public Workshop 1 Turangi
  • 29 November 2012 Public Workshop 2 Taupo
  • 29 November meeting with Eastern Fish and Game and National Office team on online licences opportunities
  • 3 December 2012 Workshop with TFAC
  • 11 December 2012 Workshop with Taupo District Council

On review it was considered a successful process to engage with those who currently fish the Taupo Fishery and highlighted the usefulness of the survey as one means to engage with anglers.

  1. Survey – The survey closed with 742 responses and was analysed by National office staff and APR consultants. 
  2. The APR Economics Assessment was received and a summary of these results are included at the end of this report.
  3. Consultation website updated - .

What’s happening next week?

The report is to be finalised early in 2013 with an anticipation that it will be made public in February.


An Economic Impact Assessment was undertaken by APR Consultants as a part of this Review. The Assessment was based on data collected through the public survey, information that was publicly available, and some interviews. While there are some limitations with the information available the Assessment provides a critical new baseline on which to base the value of the Taupō fishery to the Taupō  Region.

Expenditure made by Taupō residents’ would have been spent in the Region anyway, therefore Taupō residents’ expenditure was excluded from impact estimates. The overwhelming majority (87%) of the survey’s raw data was associated with respondents who currently possess season licences or had purchased one in the past. Only season licence expenditure data was scaled up to the population level as the majority of respondents’ purchased this type of licence. Impact estimates associated with other licence type segments’ expenditure1  were not included in the report’s analysis, as the sample sizes associated with these groups were too small to enable the calculation of meaningful estimates.

Survey-based estimates of adult season and week licences total economic impacts were $23 million (total output), $9 million (total value added) and 239 FTEs (jobs created or sustained). Impact estimates made using theoretical assumptions about visitors’ expenditure were made on the basis of providing a relatively conservative indication of licence impacts that were not covered by the surveys’ responses. A conservative estimate of total impact associated with the visitors (including those who held child and adult 24 hour licences) spending in Taupō attributable to the Taupō fisheries was $29 million (total output), $11 million (total value added) and 294 FTEs (jobs created or sustained). This is broken down in the table below.

The best estimates are those made for season licence holders. In other words, the survey’s data enabled partial estimates of Taupō fishing visitors’ impact rather than undervaluing the fisheries per se. Conservative assumptions were made in order to generate a more complete estimate of Taupō  visitors’ economic impact attributable to fishing. Overall, it is reasonable to assert that the Taupō  Fishery supports nearly 300 jobs, creates at least $29 million in business turnover, and adds $11 million to the size of the economy.

Table: Summary of impact estimates

Type of estimateImpact typeTotal output (million)Total value added (million)Total FTEs% of total impact
Based on DOC survey data
(n= 261)
Adult season (sole or main reason for visiting Taupō was fishing) $17.90  $7.10 182.5 62.2%
Based on DOC survey data
Adult week (sole or main reason for visiting Taupō was fishing) $5.50 $2.20 56.6 19.3%
Sub-total – survey based estimates  $23.4  $9.3 239.1 81.5%
Based on assumptions about visitor expenditure Adult 24-hour $1.70 $0.70  17.5 6.0%
Based on assumptions about visitor expenditure   Child 24-hour $0.14 $0.06  1.4 0.5%
Based on assumptions about visitor expenditure  Adult season (fishing was not the primary reason for visiting Taupō) $2.30 $0.90  23.5 8.0%
Based on assumptions about visitor expenditure  Adult week (fishing was not the primary reason for visiting Taupō) $1.20 $0.50 12.1 4.1%
Total (million or FTEs)   $29 $11 294 100.0%

Notes on the table above:

  1. Child season impact was included within the adult season impact as respondents were asked to report spending of their entire group/family. 
  2. Adult and week season impact estimates assumed one license per family/group/ individual who visited Taupō. This implies that the majority of those who came to Taupō to undertake fishing came on their own, rather than as a family or group of friends. 
  3. Adult 24-hour, child 24-hour, adult season (where fishing was not the primary reason for visiting Taupō) and adult week (where fishing was not primary reason for visiting Taupō) estimates assumed that on average one non-fishing person accompanied the person who fished on their visit to Taupō.

Deryck Shaw’s economic impact assessment of the Taupō fisheries impact in the year ended June 1983 estimated the total output (ie, total turnover) to be $10.8 million and 244 FTEs. Between 1983 and 2012 annual CPI inflation has averaged approximately 4.2% p.a. Taking into account GST increases, an inflation adjusted impact would be at least $30 million. Methodological differences between the 2012 and 1983 impact estimates in terms of data gathering (web-survey and theoretical estimates compared to postal survey and person-to-person surveying) as well as the fact that money should be conceptualised and understood within relative price structures, expected quality of life and consumer paradigms (in different epochs) seems to imply that the two estimates are not directly comparable. What we can observe is that the two estimates are of a similar quantum.

Visitor activity

Overall, visitor arrival statistics for Taupō have declined slightly, falling 5.4% between 2000 and 2010. This was in contrast to New Zealand where guest arrivals grew by 22.6% during the same period.

Total Taupō  fishing licence sales decreased from 54,086 to 41,363 (ie, -23.5%), between the 2007/08 and 2011/12 seasons continuing a general downward trend in Taupō  trout fishing licence sales over the past 24 years, since sales peaked at over 82,000 in the 1987/88 season.

The results of the Department’s survey showed that 66% of respondents’ primary reason for visiting Taupō was for fishing (note that the majority of respondents (86.9%) were Adult Whole Season licence holders and as such, this may be expected). A total of 83% of the survey respondents were aged over 40 years. The two largest groups surveyed were those aged between 50 and 59 (26%) and those aged between 60 and 69 years (28%). A total of 88% of respondents were male, while 12% were female. The findings showed that visitors undertook many activities while in Taupō, not only fishing. This included mountain biking and other recreational activities.

1 Cross-tabulated for respondent origin and motivation for travelling to Taupo (ie, data that excluded Taupo-based respondents and those who sole or main motivation for traveling to Taupo was to undertake activities other than fishing.) 

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