The National Party’s proposals for a Hunting and Fishing Minister in Government is very welcome says Alan Simmons, President of the NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party and a lifetime hunter and fisherman. However the appointment of such a person is tempered by National’s past disregard for the environment and the public’s hunting and fishing.
The NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party is now officially part of the Freedoms NZ Party which is a registered political alliance of several minor parties in New Zealand founded in August 2022.
“Irrespective of party, the idea of a voice at the cabinet table for the million plus Kiwis who fish in saltwater and freshwater and hunt, is well over-due, in view of the threats to hunting and fishing over decades, which invariably have come from government policies to exploit the environment,” Alan Simmons said. “That means National by virtue of its years in government is not blameless. Their list of disregards go back a long way.”
Alan Simmons gave examples of a National government’s plan to raise Lake Manapouri in the public’s Fiordland National Park in the 1970s, plans around the same time to commercialise trout via trout farming and selling Crown Lands at Upukeroa, Te Anau to a wealthy American to exploit the fishing and hunting values.
Then more recently John Key led National government showed a complete disregard for rivers and freshwater fisheries both trout, salmon and native, when it sacked and replaced the democratically elected Environment Canterbury with “state puppet commissioners” thus facilitating the wholesale expansion of corporate dairying, resulting in high irrigation demands and a large increase in toxic nitrates into aquifers and rivers themselves.
“Excessive nitrate levels are toxic to freshwater ecosystems and to human health as evidenced by Canterbury and South Canterbury’s alarming high rates of human bowel cancer, as proven by a Danish study of 2.7 million people,” said Party Co leader Sue Grey. “Further to that was Minister Nick Smith saying that nine new salmon farms, with equivalent nitrate pollution to a double decker dairy farm, in the conservation zone of the Marlborough Sounds was a good idea.”
Labour Not Innocent
“Labour was also guilty having promised in 2017 and 2020 to clean up deteriorating river health and have done virtually nothing. Political rhetoric and hollow promises come cheap,” she said.
Labour had also introduced the sea fisheries quota system in 1986 which predictably led to a domination by corporate fishing companies of the overall fishery resource an area Sue Grey is well versed in, having written the Fisheries Law book. Labour had been guilty of other past disregards for the public’s fish and game such as mismanaging the Fiordland wapiti herd by allowing unchecked hunting by helicopters and just very recently attempting to take over the democratic administration of Fish and Game via the Department of Conservation bureaucracy.
“ It remains to be seen as to how sincere National’s promise to set up a credible voice at the cabinet table, if they are elected government. The one million hunting and fishing public should ask searching questions about National’s real intentions relative to its past disregard for recreational fishing and hunting,” she said.
The NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party and the Freedoms NZ party would be totally genuine in promoting the need for a voice for the outdoors in government.
“It’s so important to have Ministers and MPs who understand the implications of policies and who can promote workable common sense solutions that balance current use and enjoyment with future needs “ said Sue Grey.
Alan Simmons – “Outdoor voice in Cabinet good Idea, but—.”