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That Pommie Bastard: a roaring true tangle with New Zealand Environmental Politics

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"An intriguing read about a captivating individual who believed he knew better than the officials and dared challenge them." Otago Daily Times. By Bryan Winters

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Stewart Smith was the only person requested by the New Zealand Government to be a trout poacher. He smoked thousands of the fish with their blessing, many gracing the tables of senior civil servants. He went on to spread outlawed, weed-eating fish around the upper North Island, as an alternative sport fish to trout, which don't breed well in the warmer zones of the nation. For that he was castigated and convicted, while entertaining others with his exploits. As recently as 2005, the 94-year old was still breeding illegal fish, outwitting border security and flummoxing Academia. This is more than a tale of an intriguing individual however. It’s a window into the evolving and often contradictory work of environmental agencies both in New Zealand and worldwide.

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'Intriguing read about a captivating individual'. Review by Otago Daily Times
Author Bryan Winters has reprinted many of Smith's personal notes, which are fascinating. Smith tells of an early life growing up in the East End of London, a happy playground where he had mastered the art of catching tiddlers in the sandhill ponds by the age of 5, and this play developed into a lifelong passion.
Winters presents extensive environmental politics, the freshwater environmental thinking v Smith. Smith would argue that trout fishing was elitist, while carp, rudd and tench not only provide sport for families but also the fry are ideal food for the also introduced rainbow and brown trout and salmon.

This is an intriguing read about a captivating individual who believed he knew better than the officials and dared challenge them. It also extensively documents freshwater fish policies and the thinking of various agencies but, at the end, Winters lets the reader draw their own conclusions. (Posted on 24/10/2012)

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title That Pommie Bastard: a roaring true tangle with New Zealand Environmental Politics

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