The New Zealand Fish Passage Advisory Group is a group of ecologists, engineers and environmental advisors representing various groups involved in fish passage management in New Zealand.

NZ Fish Passage Advisory Group logo.


We are using our multi-disciplinary team to develop, communicate, promote, enhance and advocate for improved technical guidance and policy to support fish passage and connectivity of our waterways.


Fish passage management covers the management of passage within, over or through physical structures, and physio-chemical and hydrological conditions that may impede passage. Fish passage provides connectivity between all habitats necessary to complete the life cycles of freshwater fish and other instream organisms, for example aquatic invertebrates and shrimp.

Key roles

Key roles of the group will include, but are not limited to:

  • Leading development of national tools and systems.
  • Providing better national coordination.
  • Promoting awareness and implementation of best-practice.
  • Increasing accessibility to guidance and tools.
  • Being a central point of reference for fish passage management.
  • Seeking opportunities to progress fish passage research.
  • Coordinating an interdisciplinary approach to the management of fish passage.
  • Actively identifying and seeking opportunities to advance research and management.
  • Liaising with, and fostering support from industry bodies, professional organisations and special interest groups.
  • Promoting the development and influencing legislation and policy.

Our work

The current key focus areas for the group are around communication, implementation of the guidelines and assessment protocol, and getting the knowledge gaps/research needs established.

Some examples include:

Improving communication

  • Continuing to update the fish passage web pages to become a key guidance resource.
  • Creating key resources, such as 'Lessons Learnt' factsheets highlighting key information and guidance about attempts to improve fish passage barriers.
  • Working in collaboration with others to create resources.
  • Having a presence at key events.
  • Improving and strengthening our regular 'Fresh Connection' newsletters.
  • Sharing more information with our wider interest group.
  • Advocating improved coordination of management.
  • Maintaining linkages with other key groups (eg pump stations, fish screens, river managers).

We have a recognised email and associated wider interest group, branding, YouTube channel and advocacy resources that will continue to be used and promoted.

Sign up to the Fresh Connection newsletter by emailing

View previous newsletters.

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Research needs

  • Complete the final collation of prioritised research gaps.
  • Share key priority research gaps with others.
  • Promote research opportunities.
  • Develop a scope for possible future effort on large dams guidance.

National fish passage guidelines implementation

Advocate and promote implementation of the national fish passage guidelines for structures up to 4 m  throughout New Zealand via presentations, distribution, publication of summaries and promotion of formal adoption.

National fish passage assessment protocol

NIWA, with support from the advisory group, are developing a national fish passage assessment protocol and mobile data collection tool funded by an Envirolink Tools grant. NZFPAG will have a key role in the launch, sharing and implementation of this new tool due for completion in October 2018.

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The New Zealand Fish Passage Advisory Group members are:

  • Bryn Quilter (Tonkin & Taylor) (Chair)
  • Kati Doehring (Cawthron Institute) (Communications lead)
  • Sjaan Bowie (DOC) (Coordinator) (Guidelines lead)
  • Paul Franklin (NIWA) (Coordinator) (Assessment protocol lead)
  • Bruno David (Waikato Regional Council)
  • Trevor James (Tasman District Council)
  • Megan Kennedy (NZ Transport Agency)
  • Carla Bates (Kiwi Rail)
  • Mark Webb (Fish & Game NZ)
  • Nick Vincent (Ministry for the Environment)
  • Patrick Lees (Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd)
  • Kelly Hughes (ATS Environmental)
  • Cindy Baker (NIWA)
  • Alice Bradley (Beef & Lamb)
  • Matt Dale (Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu) 
  • Katrina Smith (Greater Wellington Regional Council)
  • Melissa Shearer (Environment Canterbury)
  • Tom Mansell (Auckland Council)
  • Tanya Blakely (Boffa Miskall)
  • Matt Bloxham/Tom Mansell (Auckland Council)

Each member not only represents their own organisation, but also their affiliated area of expertise. This means that the New Zealand Fish Passage Advisory Group has wide-reaching connections in a range of industries.


If you wish to contact the advisory group or join the wider interest group to keep up to date with our progress email

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