The lack of acknowledgement of recreational deer hunting was
one criticism made of the Department of Conservation's draft
2014-24 conservation management strategy when public
submissions were heard in Wanaka last week.
Secretary of the 150-member Upper Clutha branch of the New
Zealand Deerstalkers' Association Murray Burns told the
hearing panel deer ''barely'' got a mention and then only in
terms of wild animal control.
Mr Burns said the strategy took no account of the Bill
introduced to Parliament in March 2012 by Associate
Conservation Minister and United Future leader Peter Dunne,
designed to provide better hunting opportunities.
''Once enacted, the legislation will impact the legal status
of deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs and manage them as a
recreational resource, rather than as pests,'' Mr Burns said.
One of those involved in preparing the strategy, Doc
management planner Janine Sidery, said new legislation was
''not a given'' and could not therefore be included in the
Ms Sidery said if it did become law then she and other
planners would be ''very busy'' incorporating it.
Mr Burns considered it would be important that process was
open to further public discussion.
He also submitted the Dingle and Timaru Rivers be set aside
for recreational red deer hunting, because of the limited
opportunities elsewhere in the Doc estate.
''The Otago red deer herd was once of international renown,
producing world-class trophy heads, particularly in this and
''Sadly, hunting opportunities are in decline and animal
numbers have been ravaged by [helicopter shooting]
The Upper Clutha Angling Club considered trout and salmon
also did not get enough attention in the draft strategy.
Presenting the 50-member club's submission, president Rick
Boyd said angling received ''scant mention'', yet was one of
the most widespread and popular recreational activities in
Mr Boyd said the strategy acknowledged walking, cycling,
skiing, tramping and four-wheel-driving ''but for some
unknown reason fails to make any mention of recreational
Professional fishing guide Ian Cole also lamented the
strategy's lack of inclusion of fishing.
''To ignore such an intrinsic recreational value of the Doc
estate does little to engender support from otherwise very
like-minded conservation orientated user groups.''
Alpine Helicopters director Nick Wallis submitted there
should be more opportunity for helicopter landings in the Mt
Aspiring National Park.
Mr Wallis said there was particularly strong tourist interest
in landings on glaciers, in heli skiing and in fishing remote
He believed there were areas of the park where more
helicopter landings could be accommodated without creating
conflict with other park users.
The draft strategy attracted 300 submissions.
The panel hearing submissions is chaired by Doc's Queenstown
conservation partnership manager Greg Lind and is due to
resume in Dunedin on November 4.