Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage needs to halt her cull of 17,500 Himalayan Tahr due to start on 30 September until proper engagement and consultation has taken place, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.
“Ms Sage’s decision to cull 17,500 Tahr without a consultation process with the industry illustrates her Greens-know-best approach to all matters of Government.
“She must stop this cull until her Department has had a chance to consult with the hunting industry and recreational hunters properly.
“The new Minister is positioning the direction of DOC away from recreation and visitor assets.
“National believes in a pragmatic approach to conservation, and the recreation sector plays an important role in this. With respect to Tahr control, the Minister must ensure that the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan 1993 is still fit for purpose before it is imposed at will.
“Her decision to cull Himalayan Tahr comes on the back of her decision to abandon the interests of hunters by putting the future of the Game Animal Council through yet another of the Government’s reviews.
“Ms Sage does not feel the need to listen or provide sufficient resources to the Council for the many services that they offer, such as establishing management plans for ‘herds of special interest’ and giving advice on aerial hunting codes, illegal hunting and access to the conservation estate.
“This is unacceptable and a clear slap in the face for the hundreds of thousands of recreational hunters who make a difference on the ground for conservation.
“Fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation are part of New Zealand’s unique way of life. National’s Bluegreen approach of having recreationists more directly involved and getting sector groups like recreational and commercial hunters around the table to resolve matters such as Himalayan Tahr would have avoided the mess Ms Sage has created.
“Unfortunately, the current Government and Minister of Conservation have abandoned the interests of New Zealanders getting into the great outdoors.
“If Ms Sage won’t enable New Zealanders and the hunting sector to get out and engage with conservation efforts – then we are fighting a losing battle.”