15 May 2009

Review sought into hunting, fishing licence fees

9:08 pm on 15 May 2009

Agriculture Minister David Carter is to urge the Minister of Conservation to investigate whether the Fish & Game Council is spending the money it gets from licence fees appropriately.

Mr Carter says he has questions about the council's direction and leadership after it took legal action in the High Court to challenge whether High Country run-holders have exclusive rights to the land they lease from the Crown.

The High Court rejected the challenge. Mr Carter says Fish & Game had no foundation for what he describes as a "divisive" action.

He says the money the council gets from recreational hunters and fishermen would be better spent improving relationships with farmers.

Mr Carter says a recent survey showed 92% of landowners do not mind granting access to recreational hunters and fishermen.

Fish & Game has said that by seeking clarification it was fulfilling its obligation to hunters and fishermen who pay their licence fees.

It says one of its fundamental roles is to advocate access to wildlife and freshwater fisheries, which are not attached to land title.

The council says, in its view, the public has a right to expect access to them.