Voting does work when thousands of usually independent thinking hunters gathered together for meetings throughout NZ laying the groundwork and voted for the Game Animal Council that was vigorously opposed by DoC and finally enacted by the United Future Party and Peter Dunne.

So why was a Game Animal Council ever needed and why are hunters sidelined when they harvest wild game for food and reduce numbers for free instead of DoCs ideas of poisoned and left to rot?

Hunters interest and participation on public land was ignored by the Department of Conservation policies based on a set of  values determined by their inhouse science and culture. The Greens Minister for Conservation Sage behaved like a school teacher telling off a new boy at school via her acknowledgement speach in parliament reflecting the pervading attitude within the department of conservation:

Eugenie Sage;"although Mr Dunne may say that this bill does not dilute existing powers in the legislation, it creates very real tension between the delegated functions of the Game Animal Council and the Department of Conservation. We have seen how many hunters interested in protecting deer from by-kill through 1080 operations have opposed and raised a lot of public concern about 1080 in order to protect their hunting interests, and that same tension will be evident with this Game Animal Council."

Since its establishment GAC and the New Zealand Deer stalkers Association invested in scientific research countering a DoC science claim that deer, Tahr, etc are a global warming issue and culling programs should be funded.

The report you may view here, Review of the likely magnitude and manageability of deer impacts on carbon stores in indigenous forests, was undertaken by Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research and commissioned by the Game Animal Council.

Co-author of the report and Principal Scientist in Ecosystem Ecology, Dr Duane Peltzer confirms that the case for deer management to improve carbon storage across intact indigenous forests is weak.

“The research shows that in some forest types the presence of deer may have a small negative effect on carbon stocks, while in other forest types deer will either make no difference or actually promote more carbon storage. Overall, however, the impact of deer on indigenous forest carbon storage is pretty much neutral.”

The main effort behind aerially spread 1080 mentioned by Sage was firstly to control tuberculosis infected possums which can spread to farmed animals. The Animal Health Board now OSPRI funds and promotes the use of aerial 1080. DoC's future aerial 1080 pest campaigns will be funded from the conservation budget as farmers have reduced TB in some areas.

1080 cereal pellets with deer repellent-additive is another established example of GAC and Deerstalkers progress toward recognizing game as a resource. The recipe comprises blood and bone incorporated into 1080 pellets so it is made unpalatable for ruminants and remains attractive for pests, possums, rats and mice.

Eugenie Sage and various cohorts are naturally also opposed to deer repellent application and they also continually approved carrots coated with 1080. Anyone wandering through those historic drops observed that the possums it was intended for and the birds it was supposed to protect also consumed the carrots leaving behind pecked pieces of 1080 carrots spread throughout the bush floor as compelling evidence of how much 1080 the protected birds were ingesting and consequently dying. Contrary to conservation values of those anti 1080.

After prodding by the anti the pro 1080 supporters decided a change was much needed and resorted to externally dyeing the orange carrots a green colour due to the winter aerial drops also coinciding with the broad leaf orange berry season. The result is easily tested and observed by anyone simply by throwing carrots dyed green or not onto any lawn and observe the inevitable natural response from birds is to eat them. The practice of green colouring did not deter the native birds consumption of the in season sweet carrots. The pedantic Govt department finally abandoned the carrots and now uses a more costly program comprising aerially spread 1080 cereal pellets dyed green which fortunately for hunters and their game resource is easily combined with the deer repellent ingredient.

The Game Animal Council has been advising DoC to include deer repellent in areas that are designated as herds of high value. This is a sea change in values for DoC that marginalized, treating the hunting community as silent 1080 fringe stakeholders as Sage described in parliament.

Ironically however due to known aerially spread 1080 risks DoC currently cannot find consultants who will write a risk assessment on behalf of DoC and pass it for safety approval. For years they claimed the anti-1080 groups were unfounded protestors, eventually in time the protestors have been proven sane by the useful science based system that DoC and Sage's interpretations thereof concluded no real risks from aerially droping and scattering 1080 poison existed. Their position is contrary to the presently deemed too risky aerially spread 1080 causing reported by kills of native fauna including domesticated animals and accidental drops such as one example a full load directly into lake Taupo. So the story goes they are planing to legislate around risks and also future access over private land for their pest free 2050 slogan.

The recent Labour/Green coalition govt rolled out a NZ pest free by 2050 slogan to re-invigorate anti pest sentiment was a great political success that drew world wide recognition for the Greens and Labour's en vogue Ardern due to their unique claim. However contrary according to science their claim is not achievable and any future technique to achieve this remains unexplained and merely a political stunt and will further erode property rights.

The Greens and Labour banning of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is wrong according real worldwide field tested results, approved in a letter by 106 nobel scientists and used extensively by other countries successfully increasing efficient food production for more affordable food. The Green Labour parties claimed to be for science, help  poor access to food and on the right side of history. So on one hand they want GM0s banned in New Zealand on the other hand are planning an unkown scientific technique based on a GMO they outlawed. This helps to explain why they have gone quiet recently on their GMOs ban, ironically.

As of Oct 2023, the actual current listed goals for "pest free NZ 2050" slogan are much more limited and defined as;

  • Suppress predators on a further 1 million hectares.
  • Eradicate predators from at least 20,000 hectares without the use of fences.
  • Eradicate predators from island nature reserves.
  • Achieve a breakthrough science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammal predator.

It's lucky for infantile TV reports that they can simply ignore actual logic. The recent anti domestic cat campaign led by Gareth Morgan and the ever happy to ban things unless it was forestry slash in rivers ex forestry police minister then fired for dishonesty Nash trotted out one reason to ban cats that Black Robins outside of the Wellington enclosure were getting eaten by the cats and therefore everywhere all domesticated cats must remain indoors at night or else. Anyone spent a little time in the forestry or bush knows the Robin is friendly and on the ground during the day and easy for cats unless its night time when they sleep in trees that cats cannot easily climb and reach without a huge amount of obvious noise, movement and balancing impossibly on thin branches. While on the ground the Robins are easily eating 1080 baits that massacres them and DOC knows it, the bush often emptied of them after drops. Yet no campaign for the Black Robin against aerial 1080 and more predator specific ground work. Killing natives is ok if its 1080. 


Some conservationist are oddly skeptical of hunters.

As one hunting family we are in favor of conservation and in the past we cleared trees from DoC's and others delapidated roads (DoCs 2023 budget for Kamanwa tracks $17) On another road we offered a free 5 tonne digger and drainlayer to professionally fix a culvert. The offer not get approval due to usual lengthy red tape and the mix of Maori and DoC stakeholders unable to agree. This is only one example. It is obvious that DoC and co are abandoning very valuable roads that cost millions to create. Washed away conservation access due to weak maintenance.

We assisted during central north island winters a Kokako re-population group relying on maintaining established tracks for bait stations that target rats and possums without the use 0f aerial 1080. Once established requires some clearing maintenance and bait stations are filled annually prior to nesting season. The tracks are available for hunters to easily access and control game so its a win win.

Hunters are viewed by some within conservation groups as anti-conservation which is an extension from those remaining hardcore pro 1080 and also in reverse where hunters were critical and didn't like what the group was doing despite only using pest targeted bait station system that avoids harm to "game animals" which is a poor description as hunting is a traditional way to find food not a safari game.

Pirongia Te Aroaro O Kahu Restoration Society

Some of the temporary trail markers removed and replaced by permanent trail markers;

One really large, healthy and very calm pigeon. We did see Kokako, however getting the pictures of the continually moving Kokako wasn't as easy as this well fed sunning pigeon while clearing trails;

Hunters don't need hotel accommodation;

A beer reward;

One rat that didn't make it after we chased it down on our way back to the road;