SHOT Urges Hunters to ‘Quiz and Vote’
30 July 2017
The Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust (SHOT) has urged the 100,000 plus game and bird hunters to vote for sensible management and laws in the forth-coming September 23 general election.
“The party and candidates are beside the point,” says Laurie Collins convenor of SHOT. “What’s important is what the party and/or your electorate candidates stand for as far as deer and game bird management, the environment and firearm laws go.”
He urged hunters to at the very least vote and better still, get out to election meetings and quiz candidates or contact them individually.Laurie Collins said with each election, issues became more vital and hunting freedoms were threatened.
He cited a recent Parliamentary Select Committee that recommended changes to firearm laws that would have penalised the hunting public but failed to address illegal ownership of firearms by the criminal element. Only the intervention of the deputy prime minister Paula Bennett prevented many of the ill conceived changes being implemented.
“Therein lies the conundrum,” said Laurie Collins. “Paula Bennett who comes from an outdoors upbringing to her credit, stepped in and stopped the rot. But on the select committee were government MPs who backed stupid ideas.”
On that same select committee, NZ First members sensibly pulled out disgusted with the proposals which then let them speak out publicly, thus commendably alerting the hunting public.
Laurie Collins said other hunting issues had further aggravated the public’s hunting scene. He cited Wild Animal Control Operations with helicopter operators indiscriminately slaughtering deer.
“That’s not game management when any and every deer is shot. It shows cruelty in killing hinds with young fawns at foot, ignorance in shooting trophy stags and that DOC still has an anti-deer mentality in high quarters.”
Laurie Collins criticised the government formation of the Game Council which wedded by law to the Minister of Conservation became a tool for the department and was rendered a “toothless tiger” by its obligations to the Minister and DOC. DOC’s “Battle of the Birds” with extensive 1080 drops to rid NZ of predators was an impossible dream, a waste of public money and environmentally irresponsible as 1080 was an ecosystem poison killing insects, birds and other life.
Foreign purchases of high country had accelerated and locked gates resulted in most cases, after purchases. Government moves at the behest of Federated Farmers to make Canada geese pests by law were spiteful and stupid he said. Geese could have remained as game birds with farmers given the right in conjunction with Fish and Game to take any harvesting measures deemed appropriate.
“I just urge hunters to make sure they vote and vote after deep consideration. It’s the legacy you’re leaving for your children and grandchildren too.”
CORANZ Spells Out Outdoor Duties for Next Government
20 July 2017
The Council of OUTDOOR Recreation Associations has sent political parties and MPs a 17 point charter as to what is needed environmentally from a future government.
CORANZ Co-chairman Andi Cockroft said each election brought a deepening of the environmental crisis which impacted negatively on NZ’s outdoor recreation heritage and the country’s ‘clean and green’ claim.
“We’ve seen rivers once prized trout streams such as the Selwyn run dry and become a succession of stagnant isolated pools, nitrate levels are leaching into aquifers and rivers, ecosystem toxins are spread over public lands for bizarre mythical reasons, the much lauded sea fisheries quota system is a disaster with fish dumping exposed, high country lands are going to overseas buyers and access is being denied to Kiwis plus other degradation of the environment, its resources and outdoor recreation,” he said.
Government had gutted the RMA and diminished the public’s right to have a say in decision making. He gave the example of government’s state takeover of the ECan council in Canterbury and of 1080 decisions now handled solely by Minister for the Environment Nick Smith in Wellington.
“I regard those as illustrations of an arrogant, dictatorial government,” he said. “It’s performance assessment time on September 23."
Andi Cockroft said the biggest threat to stopping the rot was apathy amongst voters. Over a million New Zealanders have not registered or did not vote in recent elections he said.
"To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain,” said Andi Cockroft. “Just get out and vote.”
Andi Cockroft said apathy had always been a danger to getting the best government. He quoted Abraham Lincoln, famous USA president who said
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
The New Zealand environment was under threat and the country needed an administration with an eye to the future and a high respect for the environment. Among the CORANZ charter's 17 points was population management as a key. New Zealand needed to set a limit to its size.
“With 4.8 million people now and increasing, with environmental standards and quality of life being eroded what will 5 million, 6 million and 7 million people bring?”
The CORANZ charter also said a rethink was needed as to measurement of a country’s wealth.
“Do we measure it by the number of colour tv sets, motorcars and washing machines or do we measure it by abundance in the outdoors and clean flowing rivers and similar values?”
Consequently the CORANZ charter calls for replacing the money-based GDP with a GPI based on quality of life values. Some far-sighted economists advocated this need. Government needed to also.
Andi Cockroft said CORANZ represented a number of outdoor recreation groups from hunters to anglers, both salt and freshwater, to 4 WD enthusiasts and conservationists. CORANZ was keen to welcome new members.
“Any group interested should go to the website www.coranz.org,” he said.
In the short term CORANZ’s message was not just to its members but the greater NZ outdoor recreation public. Over a million Kiwis enjoy the outdoors but they must shrug off that apathy and vote. Andi Cockroft likened it to a sleeping giant that needed awakening.
“If everyone of the million outdoors-mionded Kiwis voted after deep consideration, government would have to respect the public interest, the environment and recreation,” he said.