Fish and Game call for Nick Smith to resign

The Fish and Game Council is calling on Conservation Minister Nick Smith to resign following allegations of threats and bullying.

Nick Smith speaks to ONE News. Source: 1 NEWS

Fish and Game chairperson Lindsay Lyons has backed up claims made by Association of Freshwater Anglers President David Haines alleging the Minister "bullied" it and told it to pull a campaign for cleaning up rivers and lakes at a council meeting on July 18.

"There was a threat through the whole meeting of what would happen if we didn't toe the line," Mr Lyons told Radio New Zealand.

He says the Minister has overstepped his authority and is calling on him to resign.

Mr Smith has strongly rejected the allegations, claiming it is driven by the proximity to the election campaign

He has released notes taken by a DOC official at the meeting.

"The notes are exactly as they were taken down at the time before any controversy arose," Mr Smith says.

Mr Smith says Mr Haines, who made the initial allegations, is a long term critic of him as Conservation Minister, mostly over 1080.

"He is not neutral and his deliberate misrepresentation of the meeting is driven by politics and the election season. I am taking legal advice over his statements."

The Minister says he finds the statements "offensive and defamatory".