top of page
Mercury bay Open 2021.jpg
NI Spearfishing 2020.png


MBOpen results 2019.jpg

Looking Ahead

North Island Champs is locked in for 15th Feb 2020
(Back up date is 29th)

Recent Posts

The following is a link to an interesting article about the recent World Freshwater Champs at Lake Taupo, with further information about the now widespread bullnose catfish.

2019 InterPacific Spearfishing Championship 
Managers Report.

The annual InterPacific competition was held in Australia this year. Based in the town of Eden in Southern New South Wales. New Zealand sent one of its largest teams ever.
Mens team : Paul Best, Julian Hansford, Graham Mackerath, Jackson Shields,
Reserves: Leo Stothart, Jamie Wilson
Ladies team : Alex Edwards, Sophie Hamilton , Reserve Alex Barclay
Junior Development squad: Josh Bird, Tyler Maugham.
Manager: Steve Crabtree, Graeme Heapy
All the team were selected from the results of the Wellington Nationals. Taking 2 mens reserves was unusual but both were so keen to go that they agreed to split the funding of the “extra” between them. Josh & Tyler were next in line for team selection with their excellent Wellington result and were funded by their respective clubs. The opportunity to take an extended party came about as accommodation and boating were fixed cost regardless of the extras. The teams were a good mix of some of our most experienced campaigners and first timers who hopefully will spread the word.
We only planned 5 scouting days before the competition. Unfortunately the weather was not kind we were not able to get out every day to look at the areas. A large regional competition, The Narooma classic the weekend before was cancelled due to rough seas.
Even on the days we did get out we were limited where we could dive by the weather. The water was colder than expected so some frantic calls were made for thicker suits.

Day 1 of the comp was in the only area we did scout well. We had a plan to go for the fish we had found and everything went perfectly to plan. It would have been hard to imagine it going any better – one of those days were the fish just kept coming. Graeme and myself will long remember watching Graham & Julian standing in waist deep surf shooting Kahawai. Julian got two whoppers with 1 shot. The 4 they got were the only ones speared in the comp.
But even with a brilliant day the mens team were 1 fish behind Australia, The Kahawai and 2 big Bonito from Paul & Jackson had us ahead on weight but the margin was very slim. Local knowledge savedTeam Australia with 4 swallowtail ( sort of Golden Snapper ) & 2 bastard cods.

The ladies team plugged away and had a steady supply of fish coming in. They worked to their strength of not doing long swims but just plugging away in a comfortable depth.
For the second days comp Graham Mackerath made the decision to sit out the second day and let our reserve swim. That is one of the hardest decisions a competitor will ever make and was very generous. The reserves were forced to choose between themselves and Jamie Wilson became an International competitor.
The second day was in a zone we did not know much about. It was also approximately 9 kms long despite the rules specifying no more than 5. More about the rules later.

Jackson and Paul did have one spot that showed promise on our scouting days and headed there despite it being 3 kms from the start point. The other mens and ladies pairs just had to follow their eyes and look as they swam.

From early on it was obvious it would be a slow day. Watching from the boat we could see that none of the other nations were putting many fish in the boats and divers were swimming one way then another, never a good sign. Jackson and Paul did get some quality fish in their deep spot including Swallowtail but were hampered by a strong current and dirty water that made it difficult to stay on the spot. Our other pairs just picked up bits and pieces but never really got going.
During the swim back to the boats one of mens team was cramping badly so the managers decided to replace him with the reserve. The rules say a substitution can be made in the case of injury and the substitute swimmer must be provided by the host nation and may not spear. The host nation did not have a swimmer prepared out on the day.

Before the sub was made we called the competition director by radio to clarify. After several minutes deliberation he replied that he was OK with the change so long as BOTH of the pair did not have spearguns. We did the change with the NZ reserve with approx. 45 -50 minutes to go.

Our catches for both teams were OK but heading back to the weigh in I was not hopeful as we had missed out on several basics which I felt Team Australia would not do.

The fish that were weighed on the day gave the mens team 90% which with the 100% from the first day was a good score with Australia on 199% combined.
The Ladies team also struggled on the 2nd day and fell behind the Australian pair a little more. Our lack of scouting time was a factor in the second day. Once again team Australia got several local knowledge fish.
But then the protests started. The essential points of contention were this.

What constitutes an injury ?
What jurisdiction does the director have ?
What do the rules mean by reserve/manager ?
The decision to penalize the NZ team 50% of the day 2 score was made. But the protest had been accepted , then overturned , then accepted again, then overturned again, then acceped for a 3rd time but that decision made after the team had returned to NZ.

So what have we learned? The rules are not as clear cut as we would like them to be. They probably need a major review. Given the level of mistrust between some of the nations it is hard to see that happening.
I still do not think the substitution made a material difference to the fish we speared that day and was within the rules and that we acted in good faith by seeking the authority of the Director. But not to be.
What good things happened ?
We all came home safe and there were no diving related health problems on the trip.

7 new people got to experience International competition
I have never seen such a group of happy healthy divers at a competition. My hope is that some of them might take positives out of this a want to do it again.

The Budget
SNZ set a record for InterPacific financing with $8000.00 A spreadsheet detailing all the spending has been sent to all SNZ executive.
The Mangers set a record for living expenses. About 17$ a day each including travel Melbourne to Eden & return. We ate well .

It would seem the tradition of local divers helping out with boats and time is lost. We paid fuel plus boat hire in Australia. Boat hire is quickly becoming the biggest cost. It has been so on the last 3 events I have attended. The costs involved in InterPacifics have the greatest potential to limit participation of new entrants. We need to be careful.

Thanks from The team mangers and SNZ to all the competitors for giving it all your efforts and representing us in a terrific manner.
Steve Crabtree

World Championships Sardinia

New Zealand would like to look at taking a Womens team to World Champs in Sardinia Sept 2020.










This will be extremely deep diving and a very high level of competition.
SNZ would like to invite interest from our Lady Competitors out there who could be interested.

Please email with your interest by Sunday 31st March.



World Freshwater Spearfishing Champs

Lake Taupo March 2019. Final Results

World Freshwater results - final.jpg

Freshwater World Champs - Lake Taupo

Day 1 - Prelim. results

World Freshwater Champs Lake Taupo Day 1

Prelim Results

Freshwater Worlds Day1.jpg

Past President Bob Rosemergy passed away in Wellington on the 12th February, 2019.

Bob was a tireless servant to Spearfishing NZ.

He held the seat for approximately 20 years, making many positive changes while attending every event he possibly could on our calendar over that period.

Bob was the instigator and organiser of our first ever Catfish Cull, now New Zealand’s (and possibly the World's) biggest ever pole spear event.

Bob was a New Zealand Spearfishing Champion also representing NZ in first ever Tripartite Team now named the Inter Pacific. 

To Bob's family Spearfishing New Zealand would like to send our deepest condolences and thanks for lending him to us over the years.

Bob, thank you for being a champion of the sport in many ways.

Rest in peace.

 President's Newsletter

The last couple of months have been extremely busy with events.
Well done to all the organisers who get these things done.
Again a big thank you to Dean at Cressi for his support of Catfish Cull and the North Island Champs.
Thanks to Peter Jones  and his team for their work with Cressi North Islands.
Thanks To Josh Craig for his work with the South Island Champs in Dunedin.
Thanks to Matt Lind and his team for running the Northern Area Comp
Coming up we have the Freshwater Worlds in Taupo on the 9th and 10th of March. We have a great selection of competitors from around the Worlds competing. One of note is Moldavian diver Ilie Bologgan, I asked him what his biggest catfish he has to date?
Over 100kgs was his reply! It will be interesting with him chasing the 500grm models he will see next week!!
Itay confirmed late last week with a team of 6 divers coming and the big contingent of Americans have been here a while sampling the local salt water diving with great results.
Word has it that Andy Ruddock from Aussie is  here already staying in Taupo and training hard!
Guam has some familiar faces on the way and one South African is already tasting salt water spearing showing up at the Northern Area.
With the coming Freshwater Worlds and Inter Pacific, SNZ are exposing around 42 NZ divers to international competition in the next couple of months, something never done before.
Keep an eye on SNZ FB page for details and results as they come to hand.
Port Valley have their annual comp coming up on the 15th of March please support this if you can, looks like a fun event, see below for details.
Steve Crabtree and Graeme Heapy have done a great job getting probably our biggest official Inter Pacific team assembled. This year they are taking a development squad comprising of both our 3rd place team members as reserve. Between them they are paying one full fare to go. Also on board are our two top junior boys who placed 6th overall in the open division. Between Ripples in Wellington and Port Valley Club in the North both have put money into these guys who represent each club.
On top of this we are taking a Ladies reserve something not always possible.
Thanks to all involved that have made this happen.
A big congrats to the individuals that went to the Aussie Nationals, amazing result by all involved see below for details.

Aussie Nationals Results


1st Photo below of overall comp winners - 2019 North Island champs
Mal Bird & Dave Mullins with 2064.50 points
2nd place:
Drew Avery & Gavin White with 1735 points
3rd place
Josh Masson & Paul Matthews with 1476 points
The Eric DeVries memorial kingfish cup / heaviest kingfish was won by George Michael & Rex Penbrook
Proud winners who attend the comp every year but usually low on points so they where pretty chuffed & beat off Mal & Dave who where close behind at 14 kg
15.3 kg gilled & gutted (2nd photo)
Low numbers - only 16 teams due to having to change days and many not being able to do Sunday - but it was the correct call weather wise
Big thanks to all competitors and Robin Thornton who was going to be weigh master on sat - but unable to make Sunday so Kevin Lowry jumped in and did the job very well
151 fish weighed in all together - a few went aside to sponsors but the bulk went into the Harcourts / Mary Potter hospice charity auction and a whopping $2815 was raised for the hospice
(that's more $$ raised than the nationals over 2 days)
The pig cooked up perfect on the spit - served up with fresh rolls & coleslaw, roast spuds & pumpkin, gravy & apple sauce etc and approx 100 people were fed
(boatman included, club volunteers & friends etc - pretty sure a few of the public lines up as well haha)
A great day all in all
Cheers to Dean / Cressi for his support and assistance on the day


Held on Saturday the 23rd of Febuary.
38 competitors from Invercargill to Kaikoura.
Event held at Karitane peninsula, which was a back up location but due to weather conditions in the days prior to the event there was no alternative.
The sea conditions on the day where pleasant with only a slight wind chop coming up towards the end of the comp.
Fishing was challenging due to the poor visability, in the area. Most teams managed 3 species. With the top two getting four with the addition of a tarakihi and a red cod.
Great to have an excellent turn out for this comp in difficult fishing conditions!
Snaps are competitors on karitane beach, and Jonothan Spence left and jordan Putt winners of biggest greenbone, Most meritorious fish and second overall (welldone!)


Saturday 23rd saw the Northern Area Champs hosted by the Bluefins out of Tairua. Luckily the forecasted cyclone never eventuated and competitors were treated to calm weather and great vis with a bit of a roll.
The area was along the western side of Slipper Island out as far as the Watchman and a list favouring high quality weedline species and snapper was set.
The fishing was very slow however and it seems the roll was disturbing the bottom with weed and debris washing back and forth potentially sending the fish out deeper.
It was the same for everyone though and in the end knowledge of the area may have been the deciding factor with locals Tim Simons and Luke Slater taking out top spot one fish clear of Quinten Tangohau and Tom Hussona in second place and Paul Best and Adam Flaws in third. With significant cash prizes for a podium finish I’m sure they all thought it was a pretty good day at the office!
On behalf of the Bluefins I’d like to thank all the competitors for pre-registering and showing up to compete; Dutchys for hosting our brief and weigh in; and the Marina Bar & Grill for hosting the after match - the tomahawk steaks were a highlight.
Extra special thanks to Splash for their ongoing support of the club - we were truly spoilt with the prize pool this year and we had some extremely happy campers at the end of the night.

Lake Taupo - March 9th/10th 2019

Only a few days to go before our divers head into Taupo and get ready for the comp. Will keep SFNZ Facebook and this website updated with news!

Official Website

This email has been bought to you by the Spearfishing New Zealand committee.
Darren Shields - President -
Steve Crabtree - Treasurer -
Reid Quinlan - Secretary -
John Anderson - Fish Records Keeper -
Graeme Heapy -
Ian Warnock - Info -




Copyright © 2019  Spearfishing NZ

All rights reserved.


Far North Spearfishing Champs, Paihia, Bay of Islands.

                Date: Saturday, 16th of March 2019.

                 Registration: Paihia Village Green                                                     

    Time: 7.30am Registration and Briefing, 8.30am Start.

    Weigh in: 5.00pm at the Paihia Village Green (all divers      must be back by 4.45pm)

                     Entry: $35.00 per Participant

Prize giving: 6.30pm at the Paihia Fire Station. Prizes courtesy Beuchat & Wettie.       

                      BBQ: Free BBQ for all competitors.

                      Area: To be advised at briefing. Boat competition.


$200        Cash -  Heaviest Snapper

 $100       Cash -  Heaviest Kingfish

 $50         Cash  - Heaviest Red Crayfish

                All divers are required to dive in pairs and to have a float and dive flag attached for safety reasons.

Charity fish auction from 5.00pm with all proceeds going

to Paihia Fire Station.

                      The Far North Champs will be a boat competition in the Bay of Islands or Cavalli Island.

      To promote junior involvement in our sport, we will be changing the points system to the following:

  • Swim with a junior under the age of 16 and get 20% more on your score card.

  • Swim with a junior between the age of 16 and 18 years old and get 10% more on your score card.

        For your entry form and information sheet please contact,


 Hagan Taylor on 021 273 7664 or email                       

Freshwater spearfishing logo.jpg

Welcome to NZ Worlds Freshwater Team.


Womens Open Team.

Team 1
Alex Edwards
Gemma Shields
Team 2
Rochele Potter
Jennifer Troup

Juniors Under 18
Team 1
Edward Warnock
Lucca Waring
Team 2
Pipi Quinlan
Jacky Edwards
Team 3 
Hamish Mace
Jess Rose (TBC)

Over 50s
Team 1
Darren Shields
Ian Warnock
Team 2
Craig Edwards
Jenni Edwards
Team 3
Ben Jeffares
Michaela James
Team 4
Barry Waring
Partner TBC

Mens Open
Team 1
Pat Swanson
Rowan Virbickas
Team 2
Nat Davey
Moss Burmester
Team 3
Reid Quinlan
Jordy Wilson
Team 4
Kolt Johnson
Micah Madsen

Mixed Pairs
Team 1
Chris Hilleard
Hayley Robertson
Team 2
Chris Connell
Emily McKeague
Team 3
Michelle Witte
Luke Sullivan
Team 4
Griffin Shields
Kate Edwards

To date we have Guam, South Africa, Italy, America, Ukraine and Australia sending teams with a total of 34 competitors. Some are yet to confirm they have entry to NZ but have entered online their intentions.

Spearfishing New Zealand Notice

Published by Ian Warnock · 11 February at 20:13 · 

World Spearfishing Championships 2020.
The next Worlds will be held in Arbatax, Sardinia, Italy. It is only just over 18 months away so we need to get a manager plus team in place now. The committee is calling for interested divers plus a manager.
Any diver putting there name forward must be a Team player, plus have the ability to fish deep water. We think a Women’s Championship will run in conjunction as it did in Portugal. So please forward your interest as we’ll ladies.
Could you all please email me with your interest in making the team. Managers as well. You have 2 weeks to make contact.
Cheers Ian Warnock.
Email to

2019 Interpacific Team

The 2019 National Spearfishing Championships was a typical Wellington competition in difficult conditions. But served as an excellent selection process for the 2019 InterPacific team. 

Amazingly the top few pairs scored the same placings on both days and there were some spectacular and consistent catches by those that made the team.

The top 3 placings in the Ladies division have all agreed to go so congratulations to Alex Edwards , Sophie Hamilton and Alex Barclay. This team has some great experience and skills for what is becoming an increasingly hot competition in the Womens division

The Nationals winning mens pair of Malcolm Bird & Dave Mullins are unable to travel to the event but both the 2nd and 3rd place teams are in the team . So we have a super experienced and skilled combination of Julian Hansford, Graham Mackereth, Jackson Shields & Paul Best. Competition was so hot for the reserve spot that Leo Stothart & Jamie Wilson have both agreed to go. We cannot yet separate their abilities !

This year for the first time we have also committed to taking a development squad of Josh Bird & Tyler Maugham. These two young divers are the current and past NZ Junior champions and placed 6th Pair in the National open division. We will be able to use their obvious talents to help us scout the areas and give them some invaluable experience in seeing competition spearfishing at the highest level first hand.

The Interpacific Competition will be based out of Eden on the South coast of New South Wales on May 4th & 5th, with the team spending 6 days scout diving the areas before the competition.

The team will be managed by Greame Heapy and Steve Crabtree.

Kind Regards 
Steve Crabtree
Spearfishing New Zealand  

Catfish Cull pic.jpg

Cressi Catfish Cull 2019

Hi Guys

We are the main sponsor for the catfish cull 2019 so here's a heads up.
2nd of February, Motuoapa Holiday park
Entry is $35 and covers tee shirt and sausage sizzle,
Prizes for most catfish caught, biggest catfish, smallest catfish, and spot prizes
Registration is only on the day & starts at 7 am, comp starts at 8:30 ish
Divers must have flags and floats pole spears and flags and floats will be available to purchase on the day.

See you there

National Spearfishing Champs 2019 Day 2  &  Final  Results
National Spearfishing Champs 2019
Kapiti Island -  Day 1 Results


Spearfishing Nationals 2019 Day 1.png


Junior Women, Women’s Recreational & Junior Men’s Results.


Junior Results.png
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page