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Dunne: outdoor recreation wins under UF agreement

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

5 December 2011

Dunne: outdoor recreation wins under UF agreement

UnitedFuture’s confidence and supply agreement with the National Party includes a number of important wins for outdoor recreation and conservation, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.

“Clauses agreed with Prime Minister John Key include commitments to pass the Game Animal Council Bill; suitably resolve the growing issue of heli-hunting, maintain free public access and ongoing involvement in issues concerning water quality,” Mr Dunne said.

Specific items in the agreement relating to outdoor recreation and conservation include:

• Passage of the Game Animal Council legislation currently before Parliament to establish the council as a statutory body.

• Put in place the necessary legislative provisions to cease guided helicopter hunting on the conservation estate, involving the shooting of game animals from helicopters and the herding and hazing of game animals as part of the hunt, and the inequitable access provisions for guided helicopter hunting in wilderness areas.

• Maintain free public access to rivers, lakes, forests and coastline.

The Government further notes that UnitedFuture have been committed to improving water quality in our lakes rivers and streams, in particular mitigating the impact of agrarian runoff on these waterways, and in ensuring quality standards and existing management of water supplies, and agrees that UnitedFuture will be consulted and involved in any initiatives concerning these issues.

“I am delighted that UnitedFuture is able to deliver on its promise to protect New Zealand’s outdoor heritage,” Mr Dunne said.

“I am committed to getting the Game Animal Council Bill through first reading and on to select committee as soon as possible, maintaining free public access to rivers, lakes, forests and coastline, and dealing to the unethical, inhumane and unfair practice of heli-hunting.

“These are issues of high interest to the outdoors community and things that UnitedFuture resolved to do during the election campaign.”

“The quality of our freshwater is something that New Zealanders are rightfully concerned about.

“UnitedFuture is keen to maintain an involvement in this issue as we believe clean, unpolluted waterways are not only environmentally important but a fundamental human right.”

“Our ability to access and freely enjoy our unique natural environment is one of the defining characteristics of the Kiwi way of life, UnitedFuture has proved again that we are dedicated to protecting that,” Mr Dunne said.

The full National-UnitedFuture Confidence and Supply Agreement can be found at www.unitedfuture.org.nz

ENDS

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