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Lack of consultation by Government shows and public get behind Tahr - NZDA

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand Deerstalkers Association Inc (NZDA) are disappointed to receive a final Himalayan tahr control operational plan from the Department of Conservation (DOC) for the coming 2020/21 operational period that ignores any advice and input from NZDA as the voice of recreational hunters.

NZDA Chief Executive, Gwyn Thurlow says "I have received many calls and emails from hunters, not just our members, expressing their outrage and disbelief at the government’s decision to take a course of action that flies in the face of its overarching objective of listening, being compassionate, and caring about our people and communities.

"There is no doubt that New Zealand hunters, a minority group, are being brushed aside by government and treated with a complete lack of due process and consultation.

"The NZDA reinforces its call for DOC to come back to those stakeholders with an interest in our special tahr herd and offer to undertake further consultation in order to allow DOC to fully understand and consider the impact of the tahr control implementation plan", says Gwyn Thurlow.

"DOC has it within its power to agree a plan that works for everyone."

"If DOC extends an olive branch it will bring an end to costly legal action too. The Department is spending public money to unnecessarily fight a plan not supported by its stakeholders, and DOC are forcing those same stakeholders to seek public donations to fund legal action against DOC - all this just be heard by DOC", says Gwyn Thurlow.

NZDA believes all stakeholders can achieve a "win-win" regarding tahr management, where we work collaboratively to reduce tahr numbers in order to achieve the desired ecological outcomes all while having a sustainable tahr herd.

Gwyn Thurlow says "DOC’s final plan is extreme and any economic or cultural downsides are being ignored, without any substantiated or scientifically backed upside. During the past two years NZDA have supported a reduction in tahr numbers by up to 18,000 tahr. DOC estimated there were 35,000 in 2018. During 2019 only nannies and juveniles were culled meaning that, using DOC’s own figures, there are only 5,000 nannies remaining in 2020. This means presently the impact on the environment has already been mitigated."

As at the time of this media statement 28,100 people have signed the petition requesting DOC to halt the 2020-21 tahr cull and review the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan 1993. NZDA’s 8,500 strong membership supports the petition meaning in 3 days over 36,600 people have effectively asked DOC to come back to the table and consult fully.

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