5 Dec 2022

Fish and Game chairperson Ray Grubb resigns amid bullying allegation investigation

2:45 pm on 5 December 2022
Person fly fishes for Trout in Tongariro river near Taupo lake, New Zealand.

File image. Photo: 123RF

Fish and Game New Zealand's chairperson Ray Grubb has resigned amid an independent investigation into allegations of bullying behaviour.

Fish and Game manages fishing and gaming licences as well as advocating on environmental issues.

Wellington lawyer Rachel Burt has been appointed to carry out the investigation into allegations of bullying by Grubb towards Fish and Game staff.

Grubb declined to answer questions about the investigation. He told RNZ it was a good time to leave.

"When you've done two years, you're 75 years of age and you've appointed a new chief executive, it's a great time for the new chief executive to create a relationship with a person who's going to be there for the long haul. It's a good time to make a change."

When asked if his leaving had anything to do with the investigation, Grubb said he had no further comment and hung up.

An independent review last year found the organisation had a bloated management structure and was perceived as an "old boys' club."

It made more than 35 recommendations, including halving the then number of Fish and Game councils from 12 to six.

Grubb was charged with chairing an implementation steering group, though it was later revealed he opposed some of the changes.

In a letter to councillors announcing his resignation, seen by RNZ, Grubb said he never aspired to be chairperson or lead the review and admitted the "last 18 months has been tumultous [sic]".

"We now have a set of proposals that if adopted will make Fish and Game a modern agile expertly led organisation that delivers for its licence holders," he wrote.

Grubb was appointed in November 2020. The organisation's former chief executive, Martin Taylor, quit a month later. Corina Jordan was appointed as replacement chief executive in August this year.

Fish and Game has been contacted for comment.

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