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DoC Heli-hunting decision a rip-off – Dunne

Press Release – United Future NZ Party

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has labelled the Department of Conservation’s decision to grant heli-hunting permits over vast tracks of conservation land and wilderness areas as a “rip-off”.

Media statement
For immediate release
19 APRIL 2011

DoC Heli-hunting decision a rip-off – Dunne

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has labelled the Department of Conservation’s decision to grant heli-hunting permits over vast tracks of conservation land and wilderness areas as a “rip-off”.

“Once again DoC has ripped off those New Zealanders that enjoy spending time in our mountains,” said Mr Dunne.

“Heli-hunting on public conservation land is not only abhorrent and potentially dangerous, but also does not fit the intention by which our national parks and wilderness areas were created.”

Heli-hunting entails either shooting a tahr or chamois directly from a helicopter or placing a hunter on the ground and herding the animal or animals towards them with the helicopter.

“It is not sport, it is certainly not hunting, it’s just killing.”

“For years helicopter operators have got away with this inhumane, barbaric practice and now DoC have not only legitimised it, but they have given it priority over other forms of recreation.”

“The real hypocrisy is that for wilderness areas such as the Adams, Hooker Landsborough and Olivines where other people are not even allowed fly-in access DoC has allowed heli-hunters an unprecedented right to use helicopters.”

“The average Kiwi tramper or hunter has been relegated to a second-class citizen in his own country.”

“Those that go into the Southern Alps to hunt, tramp or climb deserve better. DoC is a department that has totally lost its way. It is meant to look after the interests of New Zealanders first and foremost, not rich tourists who now have more rights in our mountains than we do.”

“This decision is further proof that DoC can no longer be trusted to look after the interests of recreation in this country. The recently announced Game Animal Council will need to address the issue of heli-hunting as it is clear that DoC will not,” said Mr Dunne.

The Department of Conservation’s decision and letter to applicants can be found here:
http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-doc/news/issues/heli-hunting/
ENDS

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