The formation of the Game Animal Council is good news for big game hunters, giving them a greater say in the management of their own affairs, says Fish & Game NZ.
The Game Animal Council has been established as part of a confidence and supply deal between Peter Dunne’s United Future Party and the National-led Government. Deer, tahr, chamois and pigs will lose their pest status so the management of these species can be aligned with the Council’s objectives.
Like Fish & Game NZ – which has successfully delivered on its mandate of species management and habitat protection for many years – the Game Animal Council will have its own statute and be independent of any government agency but with a formal advisory role to the Minister of Conservation.
“This model has worked exceptionally well for freshwater anglers and game bird hunters under Fish & Game. It is a logical progression to have big game hunters leading the management and governance of their own affairs regarding game animals,” says Bryce Johnson, Fish & Game NZ chief executive.
“Hunting is an established and valued part of our Kiwi culture and lifestyle, and an important part of the ‘outdoor supermarket’ for many communities. This move realises the importance the New Zealand public places on introduced game species and I congratulate Peter Dunne and his United Future Party for having that recognised in Parliament.
“The reality is these animals are here to stay and the arrangements around the formation of the Game Animal Council will lead to better management outcomes for both conservation and recreational hunting.”
Mr Johnson points out that now only the marine recreational fishing sector has no self-governance system to protect and represent anglers’ interests at the government level.
“I believe they now need a similar user-management structure to protect their interests and pursuits.”