Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Hunter threats concern forest owners

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

NZ Forest Owners Association
NZ Farm Forestry Association

Hunter threats concern forest owners


Threats, abuse and disputed claims from sambar deer hunting advocates are of growing concern to forest owners in the lower North Island.

Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes says forest owners and many farmers want the right to control sambar deer on their land throughout the year.

"Sambar are highly destructive. Yet private land owners are required by regulation to host these animals for the benefit of hunters.

"The deer, which are the size of a horse, tear large strips of bark from trees, leaving them severely scarred and often ring-barked. It's a totally unacceptable situation."

The forest owners' stance is strongly opposed by the Sambar Management Foundation, a body representing deer stalkers which allocates hunting permits for sambar during a three weekend 'season' each year. The foundation accepts some relaxation of existing regulations is needed, but basically wants the existing feral herd to remain on private land.

The debate over the future of the herd is coming to a head, with the Department of Conservation asking stakeholders give feedback by 30 November on three possible options for managing the herd.

Option 1, supported by the SMF, would see existing regulations relaxed to allow for a longer hunting season, and for an increase in the bag limit to three animals per hunter per season.

Option 2 would allow land owners to determine when deer can be hunted, remove bag limits, allow dogs to be used by hunters and permit the sale of venison. However, hunters would remain restricted to the use of approved weapons and ammunition, and would be allowed to hunt only during the hours of daylight.

Option 3, which has the support of the NZ Forest Owners Association, Federated Farmers and NZ Farm Forestry Association, would remove all restrictions - apart from the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act - on the hunting and control of sambar on public and private land.

As the deadline for submissions approaches, NZ Farm Forestry Association president Nick Seymour says statements from the Sambar Management Foundation have become of growing concern.

"The personal abuse we can cope with. But the recent written threat by foundation chair Colin Harold to take action to have DoC's consultation process halted altogether if there is inadequate accommodation of hunter concerns, is totally unacceptable," Mr Seymour says.

Mr Rhodes says forest owners wish to make it clear that the foundation claim that it has a "better relationship with foresters than ever before" is without substance.

"While there has been a lot of talk with the foundation, we are as far apart as we have ever been," he says. "Their claims that forest owners want them to continue to manage hunters is simply untrue.

"The foundation also says it has proved itself with public land-managers and has reduced deer numbers in public forests over three years. Unfortunately, nearly all the land and forests in the sambar range are privately managed or on private land, where tree destruction continues unabated."

Mr Seymour and Mr Rhodes say land owner groups strongly urge their members to put in submissions supporting Option 3.

"This option gives them the right, but not the obligation, to control sambar on their properties," they say.

"Because some farmers like having sambar around, the herd itself will not be threatened. But herd numbers will be reduced to a level where the damage to forests, young trees and crops is unlikely to be of economic significance."

[ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election