Politicians became anglers and got a few snags out on the Rotorua lakes today.
Eight MPs from National and New Zealand First including Todd McClay, Jenny Marcroft, Fletcher Tabuteau, Simon Bridges and their family members were taken on the lakes to try their luck.
For each MP there was a keen angler from the Rotorua Anglers Association and the end-of-day tally was 11 fish with eight brought back to determine the winner.
Rotorua National MP Todd McClay, who fished with Bridges on Lake Rotoiti today, said it was a good time for everyone to come together during the busy time.
Though a member of the anglers club, McClay did not catch anything but said he was lucky enough to live in Rotorua and have access to the lakes.
Bridges' son, Harry, took home the award at the ceremony at the Rotorua Anglers Club for his eight-pounder - just over 3.6kg.
Arguably the most impressive of the day was National list MP Parmjeet Parmar who blew everyone out the water after reeling in four fish at her first time fishing.
"It's [Lake Rotoiti] a beautiful sight and relaxing sitting around there and sometimes when you have these things available around you forget the novelty of those things," Parmar said.
But it was not just about fishing. Last night they had a barbecue with the Rotorua Anglers Association members and heard concerns they had about the Conservation of Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill in regard to recreational fishing.
The bill, related to the protection of indigenous fish, was currently in the select committee stage.
"I thought it was good to bring MPs here so they can hear firsthand from members of the fishing club the impact that law could have upon the fishery in Rotorua," McClay said.
Anglers had expressed concerns, he said, as the bill was about the protection of indigenous fish species.
"It's very important we do things to protect indigenous species but at the same time it shouldn't be at the expense of trout."
McClay said they hoped to turn the day into an annual event with more MPs in the future because it was a good chance to speak to locals about what was working and what was not.
Originally from Rotorua, New Zealand First list MP Jenny Marcroft was on the environment select committee and said she made the trek from Auckland because it was "coming home", having a fish and a chance to talk to people about where the legislation was at.
They were still having oral hearings which would then move to deliberations where adjustments to the bill would be made, she said.
Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage had previously said the bill was to give native fish the same level of legal protection as other native wildlife and plants in conservation areas.
"The bill doesn't make major changes to how fish are managed on the ground in lakes, streams and wetlands. What it does do is make some technical changes to the Conservation Act 1987 to give us better tools to manage both indigenous fish and noxious fish."