Mt Maunganui author Bryan Winters has written a thought-provoking book about one of New Zealand's most controversial figures.
His book titled Pommie Bastard is about the late Stewart Smith _ a man who was despised by many as an environmental renegade, after he spread outlawed fish around the North Island.
Mr Smith targeted tench and rudd and spread these fish as an alternative sport fish to trout.
"For that he was castigated and convicted, while entertaining others with his exploits,'' Mr Winters said.
"As recently as 2005, the 94-year old was still breeding illegal fish, outwitting border security and infuriating scientists and other academics.''
As well as telling the tale of an intriguing individual, the book took a look at the "evolving and often contradictory'' work of environmental agencies, both in New Zealand and worldwide, Mr Winters said.
"Why do we so love trout and put them on an angling pedestal and despise other fish as almost evil, when they are all introduced species?,'' he said.
Mr Winters said his book did not pretend to offer answers to all the "complex questions" surrounding introduced species and which ones were good or bad, but instead it "rollicks through his life and the institutions he encountered''.
"And what a life it was too. Brought out to New Zealand at fifteen years of age, he shuttled between Tauranga, Mayor Island and the Waikato, meeting remarkable men ranging from communists to publicans. He tells stories of the 1930s that need to be preserved.''
In the absence of Mr Smith, Mr Winters spoke with his opponents and allies and created the book which would let the reader figure out their own conclusions.
The Pommie Bastard book was published by Ocean Books - www.oceanbooks.co.nz and can be purchased at Books-a-Plenty.