The Lower North island Red Deer Foundation had its day in court Wednesday 2nd May, finally (take 2 scene 1).Initial court day was deferred from December 2016 due to a WARO operator wanting to participate.Too early to say what the result is likely to be and could be couple of months before we get a decision
But on the positive side, the Judge appeared to get a good grasp of the issues after a fair bit of questioning of both counsels. Our counsel thought that's the best we could ask for, to happen.
The areas effected are Ruahine, Tararua, Rimutaka forest parks, and the Wairarapa reserves in the Lower North island
Key issues the Judge wanted our counsel, and DOCs to explain/justify included;
the consultation process, role of rec hunters in the Wild Animal Control Act, the "effects" on hunters of the decisions to remove exclusions to WARO, the basis for the decisions (ie deer densities), among others.
Very interesting day, seeing how the process worked.
A positive result for the LNIRDF will have far reaching effects on recreational hunting and WARO management by DOC throughout the country.
Our aim has been to show that hunters should have been formally consulted, and the effect the decisions had on hunting were significant. Also that rec hunters have a Statutory role in Wild Animal Control and should be given better consideration in the decision making.
The aim has not been to exclude WARO, but simply to get DOC to include hunters in the decision making process and get a better deal for hunting and Game Management.
Many thanks to all those that donated to the cause. Without the support from hunters, this challenge would never have happened. That would have resulted in more of the same from DOC. We believe this challenge by hunters is the first to go all the way to court. Whilst threats have been made in the past no court action had resulted, we had always backed down. It has also become clear that DoC and the WARO guys never thought we would go this far and that they could "weather the storm" and we would go away as we always had done.
No matter what the outcome hunters now have credibility.
This has not been cheap and we are still seeking donations,
Donations can go direct into to the “Lower North Island Red Deer Foundation Incorporated”. Donations can go to Kiwi Bank acct # 38 9017 0707871 01
There is also a give a little page