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GAC Media Statement: Hunters demonised by government ad

By Tim Gale, Game Animal Council

The Game Animal Council is concerned that a new government ad campaign aimed to keep children safe online unnecessarily demonises hunting.


Keep it Real Online is a series of ads designed to provide advice to families to deal with online pornography, bullying, grooming and inappropriate content. Unfortunately, the clumsy use of a rabbit hunting scenario to illustrate inappropriate content unfairly likens hunters to pornographers, bullies and online groomers.



Content such as this, which also illustrates ludicrously bad firearms practices, implies that hunting is wrong and something to be afraid of,” says the Game Animal Council’s Tim Gale.


Hunting is a major recreational activity in New Zealand, nearly 200,000 people hunt and they do so responsibly and humanely.” 


For many New Zealanders hunting is a family activity,” says Gale. “Most Kiwi hunters progressively learn their hunting skills from mum and dad and it is a really positive part of many kiwi childhoods.


“...the clumsy use of a rabbit hunting scenario to illustrate inappropriate content unfairly likens hunters to pornographers, bullies and online groomers.”


Hunting, whether that be for small game like rabbits or ducks or for big game species like deer or wild pigs, not only serves an important animal management and conservation function but also provides food for the family and a healthy form of outdoor recreation.


I can understand what the Government is trying to achieve with this campaign but this particular ad misses the mark. Perhaps next time they could consult with those of us who understand hunting first.


I am writing to the Department of Internal Affairs, which administers the campaign, to highlight the hunting sector’s concerns.


The NZ Game Animal Council is a statutory organisation responsible for the sustainable management of game animals and hunting for recreation, commerce and conservation.


Tim Gale

General Manager, GAC

021 688 531


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