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NZDA Newsletter Feb 2020

By New Zealand Deerstalkers Association

The Deerstalkers’ Association is disappointed with the Parliamentary Select Committee report on the proposed new firearm laws, saying while there have been some changes, they don’t go far enough.


The Select Committee reported back on the Arms Legislation Bill this week (February 10). The Bill is the second round of changes to the country’s firearm laws following the Christchurch mosque massacres.

 

Key recommendations still include a register of all firearm owners and their firearms, although the original proposal to make all licences valid for only five years has been modified so that existing licences will still be valid for ten years. New licences will initially be issued for only five years but on renewal, extended to ten years.

 

While the report modifies or removes some of the original Bill’s unacceptable content, the NZDA believes more change is needed. It says the report also ignores many of the NZDA’s reasoned submissions, and those from individual hunters and shooters, which would have made any new law better.

 

“Key recommendations still include a register of all firearm owners and their firearms, although the original proposal to make all licences valid for only five years has been modified so that existing licences will still be valid for ten years. New licences will initially be issued for only five years but on renewal, extended to ten years.”

 

Now that the Select Committee has reported back, Parliament will debate the amended Bill in the coming weeks with the government aiming to get the bill passed by the first anniversary of the massacres. It is during this process that there is the chance of getting further changes.

 

The NZDA will continue lobbying politicians on behalf of its members and all firearm owners to get further improvements to the Bill before Parliament votes on it.

 

For full details of the Select Committee report and the minority reports from the National and ACT parties, go to this link;

www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/SCR_93759/

 

HEFTY DISCOUNTS PUT EXTRA CASH IN NZDA MEMBERS’ POCKETS

Belonging to the NZDA provides you as a member significant financial advantages and benefits. Top of the list is the $10 million general liability insurance and $1 million fire liability insurance you automatically receive when joining the NZDA.

 

There are also big discounts available from the Department of Conservation, which has cut the price of the 12 month backcountry hut pass by a whopping 30% for NZDA members. Your NZDA membership card also provides good discounts on the Inter Islander when you are using the Cook Strait ferries.

 

And the big tourism company Real Journeys is offering generous 20% discounts, including on day and overnight cruises on Milford and Doubtful Sounds, the historic Earnslaw and Stewart Island activities.

 

With the roar fast approaching, it is time to take advantage of the wide range of hunting, shooting and outdoors equipment you can get at discounted prices by flashing your NZDA membership card.

 

Napier of London is offering a 15% on its great range of gear, while Kilwell is cutting its prices by 15% for NZDA members on anything that is listed on the Kilwell website.

 

Given the terrific range that Kilwell carries, that’s a pretty good deal! As well, AJ Productions is offering a 15% discount on its AJ Electronic Game Caller. If you are planning a helicopter trip looking for a trophy or meat, Helisika will give you a 10% discount.

 

If you are successful calling in a good stag this roar, then Bullivant Taxidermy and Ruahine Tanning and Taxidermy will give you a 10% discount on mounting the head.

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Of course, all these benefits are in addition to the NZDA’s hard work to protect your hunting and shooting through effective lobbying and advocacy, outdoor safety training, ranges on which you can practice your skills and the opportunity to compete in national shooting and photography competitions.

 

So, join the NZDA now and start enjoying the significant benefits your membership card provides.

 

1080 DROPS

The NZDA went public just before Christmas with criticism of the Department of Conservation for scheduling 1080 poisoning operations during the spring fawn drop.

 

In an interview on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report, NZDA national president Trevor Chappell said the timing was unacceptable because not only are hinds at risk of dying a painful death if they eat the 1080, the orphaned fawns will be left to starve to death.

 

Mr Chappell said this is a major animal welfare issue for deer and if DoC wants to be seen as humane, it should not be conducting mass poisoning campaigns at this time of year.

 

He pointed out that OSPRI does not schedule any poison drops over the spring fawn season and urged DoC to follow that example. The Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage responded in a follow up interview on Morning Report, saying that the poisoning campaign was necessary to tackle the expected boom in rat populations during a beech mast year.

 

STICKING UP FOR HUNTING

One of the foundation stones of the NZDA is protecting and advocating for hunters’ rights and in November, it came out to publicly defend a Wanaka mother who came under social media attack for promoting her enjoyment of hunting. The story attracted international media attention and featured on prime time television in New Zealand.

 

The NZDA applauded her for going out into the field and taking her young family along to harvest free range meat.
In a media release issued nationwide, the NZDA said it is important for New Zealanders to recognise the positive role hunters play in society and conservation. And it encouraged more people to get involved with both the outdoors and hunting.

 

“...to publicly defend a Wanaka mother who came under social media attack for promoting her enjoyment of hunting. The story attracted international media attention and featured on prime time television in New Zealand.”

 

The media release highlighted that the NZDA is committed to encouraging and nurturing the next generation of hunters to pass on hunting traditions, culture and respect for the outdoors.

 

It recommended that anyone considering hunting should enrol in a NZDA HUNTS programme which teaches responsible hunting, provides safety and firearms training, and the skills to be able to survive in the outdoors.

 

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

The recent media coverage of DoC’s 1080 spring campaign and the social media attacks highlight how important it is to protect and defend hunting’s image and reputation.

 

If hunters are to retain their social licence to operate and the wider public’s support, we have to be aware of what we say and do.

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In the modern digital world, nothing is confidential or private and everything is open to scrutiny and criticism.
For the individual NZDA member, be careful what images and text you post on social media sites.

 

At branch and national level, the organisation has to be careful of what is said, how it is said and the words used to say it. This is because the use of language is vital in shaping the NZDA’s image and public perception.

 

“Instead of culling or pest, we should be saying “herd management”, “selective harvest”, “game animal” or “valued species.””

 

A good start is to stop using words like “cull” and “pest”. The reason is simple. This is the language of those who want to exterminate our game herds and if we adopt and use it, we are supporting the view that our game animals are vermin. And that is cutting our own throats. 

 

After all, the NZDA is presently pushing the government to recognise that our game animals are valued introduced species. If hunters can’t describe them that way, then we have little hope of getting anyone else to.

 

Instead of culling or pest, we should be saying “herd management”, “selective harvest”, “game animal” or “valued species.”

 

NZDA members don’t shoot or kill, they harvest and hunt.

 

NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE

In a significant step to securing the organisation’s future, the NZDA is recruiting a chief executive. The move was debated and approved at the national conference, with supporters pointing out that a chief executive was necessary to take the NZDA to the next level.

 

The recruitment process has now finished and the successful applicant will be announced shortly. Watch this space!

 

NEW WEBSITE

A strong digital presence is necessary for any modern organisation wanting to remain relevant and attract new members. Key to that strategy is a bright, engaging and informative website.

 

The existing NZDA website is now reaching its limits and work has begun on developing a new one which will be more user friendly. A highly-skilled developer has been engaged and they are now designing a platform incorporating the latest thinking on what makes a website attractive and easy to use.

 

Ideally, the new design will be social media compatible, video capable and mobile phone friendly. It is hoped the new website will be unveiled later this year.

 

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

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