The Government is considering a proposal that would take control of hunting introduced species considered pests away from the Department of Conservation and into the hands of hunters.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson has received a report which recommends classifying deer, chamois, tahr and wild pigs as game animals.
A newly-formed group, the Game Animal Council, would administer hunter licensing and environmental issues.
But conservation group Forest and Bird says that would be a case of poacher turning gamekeeper.
It says the animals listed damage flora and should continue to be treated as pests, while hunters should not be so heavily involved in managing their own activity.