The following information is from The Christchurch Press, the South Island's largest newspaper.
"Heli-hunters have been given a season's reprieve while a new permit system is established. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has decided to allow recreational hunting from a helicopter on public land under existing wild animal recovery operator (WARO) permits this 2009 season while it considers how to deal with the hunting industry.
"Operators who already had commitments to clients in the coming months will be allowed to continue their business. Conservation Minister Tim Groser has approved the decision. There are 97 WARO permits in new Zealand, all of which expire in September. Of this number, six involve heli-hunting. DOC's new framework (which is unknown at this stage) will cater for heli-hunting separately from September.
"Paul Cornelius of Mt. Hutt Helicopters said the season's reprieve meant business as normal."
We'll have more on this development in an upcoming issue of The Hunting Report.