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NZDA Newsletter Nov 2019

By NZDA

New Arms Legislation

 

The second round of changes to the firearms laws is now underway and the NZDA is actively involved in the campaign to protect your interests.

 

The first law changes immediately after the Christchurch mosque massacres saw the banning of centrefire semi-automatic rifles, limits set on the magazine capacities of shotguns, rimfire rifles and lever-actions, plus a scheme to “buy back” now illegal firearms.

 

This law was voted almost unanimously into being by all major political parties. The latest changes have been revealed and are now being considered by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

 

They include compulsory registration, halving the term of a firearm licence from ten to five years, increasing penalties and introducing controls on shooting ranges. The NZDA is fighting the proposed changes. It does not support universal registration and is opposed to any move to shorten the validity of a licence to five years.

 

“The latest changes have been revealed and are now being considered by a Parliamentary Select Committee. They include compulsory registration, halving the term of a firearm licence from ten to five years, increasing penalties and introducing controls on shooting ranges. The NZDA is fighting the proposed changes.”

 

It is strenuously opposed to making law abiding firearm owners pay the full cost of the new licensing regime. The NZDA is firmly of the view that the proposed law changes unfairly focus on law abiding licence holders instead of cracking down on criminals and those holding illegal weapons. The NZDA has made these points clear in its submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee considering the new legislation.

 

Hopefully, NZ Guns & Hunting readers have also made their voices heard and written their own submissions. Interestingly, the deadline for having the new laws in place has been pushed back.

 

Originally, the government wanted the new law passed by Christmas. That deadline has now been pushed back and the select committee must report back by early February. The aim now is to have the new laws in place by the first anniversary of the Christchurch massacres.

 

Biodiversity

The NZDA has also lodged a detailed submission on the government’s proposed new biodiversity strategy. The strategy – known as Te Koiroa of Te Koiora – will guide how our environment and the creatures in it are managed over coming decades. The Department of Conservation is leading the consultation process.

 

After decades of battling bureaucracy over the rightful place of game animals in New Zealand, there appears to be the chance of progress towards getting recognition for these species and their value. Some of the discussion document’s statements  provide hope that we can secure a better future for our game animals.

 

The document acknowledges New Zealand’s ecosystems cannot return to the undisturbed state they were in 800 years ago before the arrival of the first humans and that “non-indigenous biodiversity” is neither ‘all good’ nor ‘all bad’. Just as important is the promise that the new biodiversity statement is being developed “on behalf of all New Zealanders”.

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The NZDA is committed to ensuring this new strategy is realistic, fit for purpose, achieves its goals and recognises the ecological reality of New Zealand today.

 

Go to the NZDA website and read the biodiversity submission; www.deerstalkers.org.nz/page/563080

 

DOC Meeting

In mid-September, the NZDA met with DoC officials in Wellington to discuss a wide range of issues and concerns.

 

The meeting was open, cordial and at times frank. Realistically, our two organisations can never agree on everything but there are areas of common ground.

 

It was reassuring to hear there is an acceptance that progress needs to be made on these common issues. If this can be done, then it will ultimately be beneficial to NZDA members and the game animals we admire.

 

The DoC officials at the meeting also stated without prompting that they were well aware that NZDA members do a significant amount of work in the environment and the conservation estate.

 

“It was reassuring to hear there is an acceptance that progress needs to be made on these common issues. If this can be done, then it will ultimately be beneficial to NZDA members and the game animals we admire.”

 

Chief Executive

Another issue discussed at recent national conferences is the need to take the NZDA to the next level as an organisation by appointing a chief executive.

 

 

The organisation’s national conference in Wellington in August approved the appointment of a chief executive and the recruitment process is now underway.

 

Optimistically, it is hoped that recruitment, shortlisting and interviews will be completed by Christmas, with our new chief executive starting work in the New Year.

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Hunting Museum and NZDA HQ

It has taken a while, but this much-needed work on building a national hunting museum and improving the NZDA’s central Wellington offices has now begun.

 

The project is a collaboration between the NZDA National Heritage Trust, NZDA National Office and the NZDA Wellington Branch. Funding has been significantly helped by a half million dollar Lottery grant.

 

The museum will house the many fabulous trophies of our game animals, along with the rifles and equipment the hunters of previous generations used. There is also an extensive collections of books, maps and documents which will be available for the public to view.

 

The museum and the new offices will be open early next year and will be well worth a visit from hunters and those interested in our outdoor heritage.

 

Rewarding NZDA members

NZDA members deserve rewards for their loyalty and support and the organisation’s national executive is working on getting discounts from retailers and the travel industry.

 

There are already good discounts for NZDA members on the inter-island ferries and we are hoping to expand these rewards to other operators.

 

And if that ferry trip south hunting tahr or north to chase sika is successful, then you will be pleased to know that some taxidermists are keen on rewarding that success.

 

We will have full details of the discounts in the next NZDA column – if you aren’t a member, sign up now so you can take advantage of them.

 

Visit www.deerstalkers.org.nz for further details.

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