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Fishing Hunting Public Urged "Vote and Do So Wisely"

Fishing Hunting Public Urged "Vote and Do So Wisely"

A national game hunting advocacy, Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust, is urging the hunting and fishing public to take a deep interest in the general election on September 20 and to not fail to use their right to vote.

Laurie Collins, West Coast conservationist and convenor of the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust (SHOT) said this election was crucial to both the environment and outdoor sports like hunting and fishing.

It was important New Zealanders had a full understanding of MMP and that there were two separate votes, one for the party, the other the electorate candidate.

"SHOT is apolitical, i.e. no political allegiance," said Laurie Collins. "But members are so alarmed at government policies that are threatening to ruin the environment and wilderness bird life and impact on the public's hunting and fishing."

He cited stark facts such as 61 percent of the public's rivers had become unfit for bathing in, the taking of public water for large scale dairying thus intensifying contamination, government letting oil exploration rights in public forest parks without reference to the owners, i.e. public, mass poisoning of public lands under the guise of "pest" control with 1080 poison. Recreational sea fishers have had snapper and blue cod bag limits cut with no corresponding reduction in commercial quota and pressure.

"It seems government is ignoring the fishing and hunting public in favour of corporate interests and commercial exploitation," he said.

Laurie Collins reiterated the importance of strategic voting.

Whatever way individuals decided to vote, it was very important the public and hunters and fishermen realised there were two distinct and independent votes in the party and candidate vote on September 20.

"If you vote National for candidate for example you don't have to vote National for party. Similarly if voting for a Labour candidate and you can tick any other party for the party vote."

Laurie Collins had a last piece of advice and that was to consider all parties.

"The strength of a voice in Parliament may come down after September 20 to the strength of minor parties in Parliament".

He advised close and careful examination of party policies.

"Think. Weigh up your options and vote as best you think for fishing and hunting," he said.

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) of which SHOT was a member had prepared an election charter, sent it to parties and would be analysing responses and then publicly rating party policies said Laurie Collins.


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