Government Cancels Duck Hunting Season
"The Government has thrown a huge spanner in the works for the 2020 duck shooting season, showing that no Kiwi sport or other legitimate activities that use firearms is safe," according to David Seymour.
"The thousands of law abiding Kiwis who purchase a duck shooting licence every year have effectively been criminalised due to the recent prohibition of steel shot ammunition.
"Since the early 2000s, hunters who use 10 or 12 gauge shotguns have been required to use non-toxic shot (i.e. not lead) when hunting waterfowl within 200 metres of open water. The vast majority of hunters now use steel shot ammo when hunting near water – the most common habitat for wild fowl hunting.
"Every opening weekend in May, generations of families and friends wait in the dark at their Mai Mais and stands for the first sign of dawn, the first shots signalling the start of the season with hunters chasing their wily targets in all sorts of horrid weather.
"Wild fowl hunting is a cherished social tradition in New Zealand with important environmental functions. It is a sport that sees Kiwis of all ages get out into nature, learn about and appreciate the behaviour and character of the different bird species, work to build up and protect the wetlands and waterways that are their habitat, and learn to use firearms effectively and safely through skilled mentors.
"Importantly too, duck hunting season acts as a cull, keeping target species down to manageable levels to protect the environment and build the strength of each target species.
"Police Minister Stuart Nash doesn't care about any of that. He doesn't care about your family Mai Mai. He doesn't care about Kiwi tradition. His only concern is that you can no longer use steel shot, and if you are currently in possession of any, you are a criminal.
"All the tens of thousands of homes across New Zealand that have a few packets of last seasons ammo in them are now the homes of criminals liable to prosecution and jail, unless you hand them over to the Police for no compensation of course.
"This government is sending a strong signal. No Kiwi sport or legitimate farming or pest management activity that uses firearms is safe. The wholesale confiscation of all legally held firearms and ammunition could soon be upon us."