Fishing contest had big cast to get to relaunch

The return of the annual Doubtless Bay Fishing Contest to Taipa Point this holiday weekend has been welcomed by the wider community.

Formerly run as a joint venture by the three Lions organisations of Mangonui, Kaingaroa and Kaitaia, the future of the contest was secured when the Mangonui Fire Brigade announced it would take over the two-day event.

Alan Moros, convenor of the brigade's fishing committee, said news midway through last year that Lions would no longer organise the event had been met with widespread disappointment and had felt like the end of an era.

The Taipa Tavern kept momentum and interest up by running a lower budget version of the event during the 2011 occupation, before the Lions' collaboration triumphantly returned in 2012. However, as a member of the Mangonui Lions, Mr Moros said news that the Lions would later drop the event had been no secret.

After internal discussions, the Mangonui Fire Brigade decided to take on the contest a short while afterwards.

"What inspired us to take it on? Basically the fire brigade, I believe, we are really community based. We felt we had the manpower. There was significant interest within the community when we announced we would make sure it did carry on," he said.

These sentiments were echoed by Ralph Garvin, a spokesman for one of the event's long-standing major sponsors, Kaitaia Tractors: "It was a shame when the event fell over but we are more than happy to be back on board."

This year's contest takes place on Saturday and Sunday and features a $35,000 prize pool.

All the fish weighed in will be auctioned off to the public at 4pm on both days.

Tickets to the event cost $50 adults, $10 for juniors.

- Northern Advocate

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