Briefing Paper: Mt Pisa, Doc & the Hunting Issue
28 July 2016
Briefing Paper: Mt Pisa, Doc & the
A tragedy waiting to happen
Earlier this year, historic Mt Pisa Station closed public access gates that run through its property to the adjacent DOC-managed conservation estate.
It was an action taken by the principals of Mt Pisa – Murray, Jacky and Shane MacMillan – for the purpose of safeguarding unsuspecting recreational users from potential danger and death.
The adjacent Pisa Conservation Area is managed by the Department of Conservation and allows uncontrolled access onto its estate for recreational trampers, trail-bikers … and hunters.
At no stage does it warn recreational trampers, hikers and bikers that armed hunters may be sharing their space.
Mt Pisa Station has repeatedly expressed to DOC managers that hunting in the conservation area adjacent not only has the potential to cause harm to Mt Pisa employees and families, but also unsuspecting trampers, mountain bikers and other recreational users.
DOC has refused to acknowledge the risks and refused to enter mediation with Mt Pisa station or its principals.
This is despite a clause in the tenure review agreement between DOC and Mt Pisa (dated 31 January 2003) that mediation is mandatory if a dispute exists between the parties, and one party formally notifies the other.
Mt Pisa Station formally notified DOC on 21 June 2016. (A copy of that correspondence is available).
Mt Pisa and its principals believe that public warning signs – at the very least – should be printed on all DOC signage leading into the conservation area. Websites and all other promotional material should similarly advise of the danger. This would warn unsuspecting recreational users that armed hunters may be operating in their vicinity.
Similarly, hunters need to be warned – when both getting their hunter’s permit and entering the conservation area – that unsuspecting tampers, hikers and bike users may be in their target range. Many of whom will be tourists, international and national, and unaware of the dual usage of the estate.
Mt Pisa Station’s preferred position is that hunting be confined to those areas of the conservation estate that have clear sight lines.
In the wake of the tragic shooting death of 23 year old hunter Danny Jordan earlier this year, in another DOC-administered recreational reserve, Mt Pisa properly believe that a much greater risk of accidental shooting exists in the adjoining reserve. It is more accessible than the Sparrowhawk area that Mr Jordan was killed, and attracts numbers of day hikers and mountain bikers.