High Court decision a win for hunters

A High Court decision has stopped this clumsy and incompetent Government from destroying a $17 million industry and hundreds of jobs, National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage gave permission for a large-scale cull of tahr to start on July 1st. The High Court decided to halt the controversial plan to kill thousands of tahr through the Southern Alps, which is not only a win for hunters, but for the many New Zealanders whose jobs were on the line.

“Eugenie Sage has made this brash decision before where she tried to enact a large-scale cull unsuccessfully. She must go back and consult with hunters and key stakeholders.

“The Minister must stay true to the 1993 agreement that was made to make sure there is a balance between recreational hunting and conservation values, and she must recognise the value of hunters killing tahr.

“The commercial tahr hunting industry contributes $17 million to the economy and provides valuable jobs. Particularly in the current economic crisis the Minister should be thinking seriously about the businesses that rely on this resource and have already suffered through the effects of Covid-19. We need to be protecting jobs, not getting rid of them.

“Unlike Labour, National is focused on keeping Kiwis in jobs and supporting businesses and industries to create new ones.

“Tahr numbers need to be sensibly managed, but proper consultation and due diligence needs to be carried out.

“Hunters have collectively reduced herd numbers by 18,000 over the past three years. Eugenie Sage wants to take this responsibility off them. Conservation decisions should be based on science not ideology.

“Yesterday’s decision was a win for hunters, hopefully the Minister will recognise her mistake second time round and to include recreational hunters in the tahr cull.”