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Opposition to recreation Lock-out in East Harbour

28 November 2006

Media Release

Opposition to recreational Lock-out in East Harbour Regional Park

The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) has voiced strong opposition to the new lock-out approach to recreational hunters and others in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s new management proposals for the East Harbour Regional Park, at hearings this week.

“Regional parks fill a community role for recreation and open space” NZDA spokesman Dr Hugh Barr said. “But the Council is proposing changes that exclude recreational and gamebird hunters from the Park. This has raised the ire of many local hunters.”

There are small numbers of deer and pigs in the Park, as well as gamebirds. “Recreational control had worked well in the past” Dr Barr said. “But the Council was now proposing commercial killers be hired to kill animals to waste.” Not only is this an unnecessary waste of ratepayers money, but it is an affront to the many local recreational hunters, who gain recreational hunting skills and pride from hunting the remoter areas of the Park.”

“Both Europeans and Maori have strong traditions of harvesting wild game for the table” Dr Barr said. “The Regional Council talks a lot about a sustainable region. A sustainable wild game harvesting tradition is part of a sustainable region. The Council should embrace this tradition, not shy away because it does not understand recreational hunting”. He urged the Council to rescind this policy change, and work with recreational hunters to maintain sustainable recreational harvesting in the Park. “The Council needs to walk the walk of sustainability not just talk about it.”

ENDS

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