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National wants to start charging for hunting

1 August 2005

National wants to start charging for hunting

The National Party wants to start charging New Zealanders for the right to go hunting on public conservation lands, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said today.

”National MP Nick Smith announced on Sunday that National wants to extend the Fish and Game model beyond the management of salmon, trout and game birds to include species like deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs," Mr Carter said.

"The inevitable consequence of this approach will be that any one who wants go hunting on public land in New Zealand will have to get a license from Fish & Game, and pay a license fee in the same way anglers have to do at present.

"Free and open access to hunting on public conservation land is a longstanding Kiwi tradition. Under National, it would be gone by lunchtime."

Mr Carter said National's secret agenda was to introduce a radical user-pays policy in outdoor recreation where hunters would be forced to fund a new regulatory bureaucracy, and meet the costs of deer and pig management on public land, currently born by all taxpayers.

"Labour utterly rejects this approach. We are committed to free and open access to hunting opportunities on conservation land, and we have repeatedly sought to enhance this access across New Zealand.

"As for Nick Smith's proposal to reform Conservation Boards to include outdoor recreationalists, he seems to be hopelessly behind the times," Mr Carter said.

"Conservation Boards around the country are already made up of many hunters, trampers and fishers. For instance, the chair of the Southland Conservation Board is a deerstalker."

ENDS

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