A New Era in Hunting: New Zealand’s first Game Animal Council
By Simon Guild.
Classifying Game Animals as a Resource, not a Pest.
The 23rd of November 2013 saw the passing of the bill that makes way for New Zealand’s first Game Animal Council. Ever since large game animals (deer, tahr, chamois and pigs) were introduced into New Zealand over a century ago, they have been a source of conflict between various groups.
Until recently, these animals have been classified as noxious pests and their management had been tasked to people who did not always recognise them as the valuable resource they have become. By reclassifying New Zealand’s big game animals as a resource to be managed by those who really value them, and uniting all these interested parties under a single council, the quality of our hunting resource and the quality of our hunting environment should improve markedly.
What does the Game Animal Council mean for New Zealand Hunting?
You’re probably asking what all this means for the international hunter visiting New Zealand? Well, it’s early days, but having the GAC managing the national hunting resource alongside the Department of Conservation should mean better outcomes for all hunters. We should expect better management of our wild, free-range hunting areas, a review of the conditions and regulations governing our managed commercial hunting sector and the implementation of some industry regulations that will cover everything from professional qualifications for guides to minimum standards for hunting properties.
In a nutshell, you should expect better standards across the board – better guides, better trophies, better experience. The GAC represents the growing up of hunting in New Zealand and in turn a maturing of our industry that will further enhance New Zealand’s claim to being a truly world class hunting destination. High Peak totally supports this landmark change to our operating environment and we remain committed to being at the forefront of New Zealand’s hunting industry.