20 Oct 2011

Mixed response to new new Game Council

1:18 pm on 20 October 2011

There's been a mixed response to the introduction of legislation to establish a new Game Animal Council.

The bill was introduced at the tail end of the Parliamentary term before it wound up for the general election.

The creation of the Game Council forms part of the Government's confidence and supply agreement with the United Future Party.

Its functions will include the management of tahr, chamois, wild deer and pigs and promoting hunters' safety.

The bill will have its first reading when Parliament resumes next year.

It's been welcomed by game and hunting interests.

The Game & Forest Foundation says game animals are treated as pests under current legislation.

It sees the bill establishing the Game Animal Council as an independent statutory body is a huge step forward for hunting and conservation.

However, the Green Party says documents obtained under the Official Information Act show the Minister for Conservation and Government departments including DoC and the Treasury, are worried about the bill, because it undermines the purpose of the Conservation Act, pest control programmes and New Zealand's clean green brand.