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Forest and Bird caught with hand in till

Media Release: 13th September 2002

Forest and Bird caught with hand in the taxpayer’s till

Game animal advocates Game & Forest have caught lobby group Royal Forest & Bird Society wrongly using taxpayer money for propaganda attacking game animals.

Game & Forest executive director Garry Ottmann said, “Forest and Bird used part of a $61,000 grant from the Lotteries Grants Board to fund a so-called ‘fact sheet’ on New Zealand tahr even though the Board’s policy clearly prevents grants from being used for political advocacy.”

“Forest and Bird have admitted breaking the rules after we wrote a letter of complaint to the Lotteries Grants Board. They have since had to repay the part of the grant used to pay for the political propaganda and withdraw it from circulation. But we have yet to see an apology.”

Game & Forest executive director Garry Ottmann said the sheet was “a toxic mixture of misused facts, baseless opinions, and outright lies stitched together to masquerade as the truth”. Dr Ken Hughey, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design at Lincoln University, described it as unbalanced and out-of-date. (See our release titled Game & Forest defends defamed game.)

Garry Ottmann called on the Lotteries Grants Board to investigate Forest and Bird’s use of other grants it has received, saying “they’ve been caught with their hand in the till once; how can we be sure this is the only time they’ve broken the rules?

“We’re putting Forest & Bird and other radical lobby groups on notice. If they peddle lies about our ecosystems and game animals, and if they misuse taxpayer money to do it, we will expose them.”

Game & Forest is an independent non-profit foundation representing New Zealanders who value our game and forests. Game & Forest promotes sustainable management of game animals as a valuable economic, social, cultural and conservation resource.

ENDS

Contact: Garry Ottmann, Executive Director
025 221 8337 or G.Ottmann@gameandforest.co.nz

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