Rumor Claims Helicopter-Assisted Hunting To Be Banned In New Zealand


Published: September - 2008

Over in New Zealand, you may have heard a rumor that helicopter-assisted hunting is about to be banned. According to Mike Hodder, president of the New Zealand Professional Hunting Guides Association (NZPHGA), that is not correct, although the practice currently is under much scrutiny. Hodder says that the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) has been closely monitoring the use of choppers by hunting guides with their clients for some months now. The DOC took one company to court recently, but the case was dismissed because no actual law had apparently been broken, even though the actual hunt did not comply with various regulations governing the helicopter industry. At this point there is much confusion as to what is and what is not legal, says Hodder.

In a proactive effort to resolve the issue, the NZPHGA has called a special general meeting of its membership for early October to hammer out clear rules, ethics and regulations under which chopper-assisted hunting with clients may be undertaken. Hodder says they have even invited the DOC to attend and inform the group of the legal aspects involved.

The Hunting Report will continue to monitor this issue and report on any developments. In the meantime, here's what our New Zealand correspondent Greg Morton had to say about the use of helicopters in the New Zealand Country Report he just produced for us. The New Zealand Country Report is modeled after the Zambia Country Report we introduced last year. Morton writes, There are a number of rules pertaining to the use of helicopters. The first and most important is that the use of helicopters for accessing difficult terrain and locating game is legal, but permission to enter land for the purpose of hunting must have been gained in advance of the trip. In private land situations the helicopter and guiding operator must have landowner permission to be there, and on public land the hunting operator must have the correct government concession and hunting permits. All paperwork must be current.

The state owns wild game in New Zealand,........(continued)

 
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