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ORNZ and United Future divorce on religious ground

MEDIA RELEASE
Outdoor Recreation NZ
27 March 2006

ORNZ and United Future divorce on religious grounds

"The Board of Outdoor Recreation New Zealand has terminated its agreement of affiliation with United Future", said Acting Chairman Phil Hoare.

"We have had a very warm and constructive personal working relationship with United Future Leader Peter Dunne, but have had some difficulty with the evangelism from the Future side. They have at times derailed our commitment to work for the mutual benefit of ORNZ and United members interests.

"We strongly believe in the traditional bedrock values of our Nation's heritage but we also affirm the separation of church and state. Many of us readily hold to christian values but we do not believe there is any room for proselytizing in politics. Despite repeated attempts to portray themselves in a secular vein they have time and again sought to advantage themselves in a religious manner at our cost.

"We have listened to our membership and now we are acting. ORNZ will now focus on rebuilding our core membership, strengthening our original guiding principle, and broadening our focus to be a strong political voice for sound, consistent and coherant envoirnmental policies. Without the distractions and difficulties of trying to work with some people who hold views contrary to our own we will be better placed to accomplish our goals."

The ending of the political affiliation coincides with a reinvogorated team on the ORNZ board comprising of :

Phil Hoare - Acting Chairman: Pest Control/Game Management/Conservation spokesman
Nick Rump - Secretary
Stuart Mirfin -Treasurer: Spokesman on Large Game Animal Hunting issues.
Tony Smart - Commercial Fishing, and shortly assuming the role of spokesman for Pest Control.
Richard Tyson - Freshwater angling / Small Game / Game Bird issues (Fish & Game)
Peter Vahry - Access issues
John Friend - Marine Committee Coordinator, Recreational Fishing / Marine enviroment issues
Marc Alexander - Media / Urban enviromental issues etc.

"The decision to move away from a formal affiliation with United Future was not taken lightly but is in the positive longer term interests of ORNZ. The board expresses its appreciation to Peter Dunne for all his efforts and we wish him well," said Phil Hoare on behalf of the board.

ENDS

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