Martin and I attended conference in Wanaka 26-28 June
Theme for the conference was ‘Backing the Future’
Mr Cox deputy Mayor of Wanaka opened the conference and offered a very warm welcome, Mr Cox commended the NZDA for their promotional hunting methods and firearms safety. Don Hammond Chairman of GAC (Game animal Council) released the GAC’s 5 year plan; I will leave this on the back bench for you to browse. The GAC broadens the interest in hunting, they have made great strides in the interim.
Minister Peter Dunne spoke of before we can look to the future we must first look at where we have come from…
There were many woes, we NZDA felt we were not listened to, and the enemy was DoC however they (DoC) was never in the room. Now a huge change has happened Peter noted that the NZDA is a vibrant and with GAC has been able to do alot the credibility, pro-active and interests in recreational council. DoC now works well with the NZDA. Where to from here?
Two main points 1) how to promote hunter safety and 2) how to create a safe environment for hunters
They sound the same but they are not. There seems to be more risk for farmers, other hunters, and dangers associated with Poachers. The Minister is currently working with the NZDA, GAC, POLICE, and of course DoC on the broad social economical roll of hunting in NZ creating safety, training and just getting out there and doing it. Hunting is part of our heritage and personality.
Mike Slater who is the deputy general of DoC stated that the WARO hunting will be reviewed within the next couple of weeks. So far to date there has been changes made to the Ruahines. The ‘forum’ for NZDA and GAC are so that everyone’s needs are provided for…. in particular recreational hunters…. US. There is a clear and understood future and DoC will play a part of that!
The NZDA President Bill O’Leary spoke about backing the future theme, retain it and enhance it… in 1938 NZDA started and has to date achieved this mission and a special mention went the Wairarapa branch where the 75th conference was held as we have achieved that mission.
Bill spoke of many threats
- Threats are….. We need a better relationship with DoC and with recreational hunting clubs.
- We need to speak out to stand against things that don’t fit with us!
- Changes of society urbanisation mainly in the larger urban centres and more hunter training is required.
- There has been a loss in ranges, leases access and use
- There are a lack of volunteers for positions on committee and Natex (READ POEM)
- Threats of social change, as well as apathy… we need to be more forward or we will be like the KAKAPO… flightless and laying one egg every five years!
There was discussions on shooting incidents and procedures that are to be followed by branches and Natex if an incident involves a NZDA member. Southland branch was commended for its response to a recent incident.
Wellington branch put in a proposal to buy a building to house National Office (Natex) the Wellington branch and the Heritage Trust. There is an opportunity for branches and individual members to put money towards this and get a return. More information will follow.
Wairarapa branch got 2nd highest increase in membership for 2014 at the awards! Well done all!!
Conference next year will be hosted by Auckland Branch in Panmure 15/16/17 July