Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Game and Forest Foundation meeting - Sutton Speech

Office of Hon Jim Sutton Speech Notes 21 November 2001

Game and Forest Foundation meeting, Wellington

Chairman Tom Williams, ladies and gentlemen: thank you for the invitation to speak with you today.

I welcome your formation of the Game and Forest Foundation, an umbrella organisation made up of the Deerstalkers Association, the Professional Hunting Guides Association, the Deer Farmers Association, the Safari Club International New Zealand chapter, and the Association of Game Estates.

Foundation chairman Tom Williams ? who I know well in his many previous roles - has been reported in the media as saying that to achieve any sort of consensus in changing government policy, the radical elements of your constituent groups have to be cast aside.

He was reported as saying that without the baggage of each individual group, the umbrella foundation would be able to work closely with Government agencies responsible for the laws covering conservation, animal health, primary production, tourism, and trade.

In addition to open, well-managed relationships with those agencies, the foundation plans to reach out to other community groups committed to biodiversity conservation, and the education and media sectors.

I welcome that.

It is easy for lobby groups to get bogged down in entrenched positions which they defend fiercely in a way that so damages their relationships with other parties that they lose any effective lobbying power altogether.

I hope that we can maintain a dialogue even when we don't agree.

And I'm afraid to say that so far, we don't have that much common ground. Quite frankly, the Labour-Alliance Government's policy on deer control is based on ecological realities.

Deer didn't evolve here ? our native environments can't cope with large feral populations. Personally, I believe deer belong on farms, not forests.

As minister of agriculture and trade negotiations, I have a strong interest in controlling bovine TB. This disease, while it does not usually affect humans, has the potential to be used as a non-tariff trade barrier in our key international dairy markets.

Feral deer are a vector for bovine TB spread and their numbers need to be kept down.

Hunters do cull sizeable numbers of deer, but not in high enough quantities in all the problem areas to deliver measurable benefits for conservation or Bovine TB control. There is a need, from time to time, for the Government and regional councils to carry out aerial 1080 poison control operations to control possums, which also affect deer populations.

I'm pretty sure that's an area where we're sometimes going to have to agree to disagree.

There are important conservation reasons for keeping feral deer numbers as low as possible in vulnerable and special areas of our country.

The New Zealand biodiversity strategy adopted last year and funded with an unprecendented $187 million over five years underlined the Labour-Alliance coalition Government's commitment not only to halting the loss of indigenous biodiversity, but also to restoring natural habitats along with indigenous animal and plant species.

Wild deer will continue to be valued as a recreational and commercial hunting resource. But, under the biodiversity strategy, the protection of our unique plants and animals, and the places they live in, takes precedence over introduced species.

The right of New Zealanders to hunt deer on public conservation land for recreation, trophy value, and venison is enhanced in the Department of Conservation's policy statement on deer control.

Government policy is not a policy of extermination of all deer.

DOC, working with regional councils, is seeking to eradicate feral deer from traditional deer-free areas, such as the great kauri forests of Northland. I'm told by my colleague Sandra Lee that there are now only five deer thought to be still in Northland.

But the eradication of deer from the main forest tracts where they are well-established is impossible, as deerstalkers know.

I am quite confident that there will still be chamois, feral pigs, himalayan thar, wapiti, red, sika, fallow, sambar, and white-tailed deer for your members to hunt for years to come.

Congratulations on the launch of the foundation.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news