“If you don’t fight the fights, no-one else will,” long-serving retiring Otago Fish & Game councillor John Barlow says.

Cr Barlow, of Wanaka, said he believed Fish & Game had stood in where other statutory agencies had not measured up for the past 20 years.

Thirty-seven years service . . . John Barlow has been an elected member of the Otago Fish & Game Council since 1984 when it was an acclimatisation society.

It was now time for new anglers and game bird hunters to step up for their region, Cr Barlow said.

John Barlow

1984: Elected to Otago Acclimatisation Society

1987: Fisheries vice-chairman

1989: Council vice-president

1990: Appointed to transitional Otago Fish & Game Council executive committee

1991-1993: Otago Fish & Game Council chairman

1994-1996: New Zealand Council member

2021: Retiring from Otago Fish & Game Council.

Nominations are open for the Otago Fish & Game 2021 elections to choose councillors to represent the interests of anglers and hunters in the region.

Nominations will close on Thursday, August 26. Voting begins on September 16.

As overarching politics in the country change, he sees challenges lying ahead in maintaining the status of trout.

“Get involved in the administration of the sport, not necessarily by becoming a councillor, but by taking an active interest.

“People take it for granted until something goes wrong and then it’s too late.”

As a young man, Cr Barlow trained in valuation and farm management at Lincoln College.

He worked for the government in valuation for about six years after college and then ran his own valuation practice for 25 years in Dunedin.

He then farmed deer in Wanaka for 15 years until retirement.

He was elected to the Otago Acclimatisation Society in 1984 and was Otago Fish & Game chairman from 1991-93.

His early days on the council were spent trying to mitigate environmental effects of pollution on southern fisheries when farming was heavily subsidised.

Then came the launch of the Dirty Dairying campaign, which raised public awareness.

Cr Barlow said his proudest achievement was being instrumental in acquiring drained farmland at Takitakitoa for Fish & Game, which restored it to a wetland. The land was donated by a landowner who had been looking to sell.

If you are a keen angler or game bird hunter who is interesting in standing for Otago Fish & Game, go to or call (03) 477-9076.