I never thought I would see this day. For some of us it is like the fall of the Berlin Wall. At long long last, the government has begun the process to treat our wild animals, deer, thar, chamois and pigs, as game rather than simply a pest to be exterminated if at all possible. There is to be a new Game Council that will advise DOC on wild animal management. They have yet to repeal the Wild Animals Act but I expect that will follow.
What a relief for the hunters and all credit to Peter Dunn for gaining this first step. The Conservation Act was drafted in the midst of a conservation campaign by Forest and Bird to get rid of the NZ Forest Service and Lands and Survey with their "multiple use" polices for NZ's wild lands. Several prominent "greenies" had major say in the wording of the Act and they made sure large mammals maintained their "unwelcome" status. The NZ hunter was left out in the cold with no say in the management of their sport and this reality is behind the negative attitudes many hunters have for DOC.
Hunting has become incredibly popular, to my surprise, and wild food feeds many rural families. A change of attitude by our government is very welcome, the only pity is I'm nearly past enjoying the benefits to come.