Intro Column #168: No GAC, no game, no guns...

Crikey, things are really starting to heat up in the hunting, shooting and outdoors sectors. It feels like we are getting bombarded from all directions by those in power who seek to take away much of what we value.

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has recently proposed the axing of the Game Animal Council (GAC) in what is arguably a strategic move to remove and silence any that don’t sing to her tune. Sage strongly opposed the formation of the council back in November 2013, so it comes as no surprise that this current Minister of Conservation, now having the power and authority to do so, will most likely end up disbanding the council.

And although there has been plenty of rhetoric questioning the GAC’s effectiveness to date, it is fair to say that without it, we stand to lose a valuable foothold in the political scene and face a direct threat to our game animals.

To gain an idea of her view towards our game animals, follow the link below:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/50HansS_20131120_00001309/sage-eugenie-game-animal-council-bill-third-reading

In fairness, the concerns regarding the protection and stewardship of our unique bio-diversity are valid and I agree with some of those concerns. What I don’t accept is this unrealistic notion of returning our backcountry to this bygone utopia. I and many others I speak with are all for sustainable game management accompanied by realistic goals and gains in preserving our natural heritage.

In conjunction to this, the Police Association President Chris Cahill vehemently works towards increasing and creating gun possession restrictions by any means possible. He is outspoken on mainstream media who unsurprisingly, can be easily interpreted as being somewhat biased towards his agendas. This has created an air of distrust as we struggle to determine what is fact from fiction. From my research there seems to be a lot more of the latter being spread as opposed to the former.

The issue is that we as hunters and shooters are left at the mercy of these bureaucrats and policy makers who in this instance seem hell bent on ‘punishing’ the innocent and making excuses for the guilty...

Fortunately, we have in our corner people such as Mike Loder (The Kiwi Gun Blog) who tirelessly questions and exposes some of the ‘extravagant’ statistics presented by the likes of Chris Cahill.

We also have strong advocates from both COLFO and SSANZ who behind the scenes (and increasingly at the forefront) are doing their utmost to make sure our hunting and shooting rights are protected and preserved.

As individuals we need to support these organisations, as a collective, we need to show a united front coupled with a relevant and open-to-discussion response.

Cheers,

Nik/NZG&H

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