Wanaka Helicopter Crash

19 October 2018

Press Release

Wanaka helicopter crash

A helicopter crash near Wanaka has claimed the lives of pilot Nick Wallis and Department of Conservation staff Paul Hondelink and Scott Theobold.

These men have made a huge contribution to conservation over an extended period. We thank them for all they have done and recognise the enormous gaps their departure will create.

Tactical Plan for Tahr Management

New Tactical Plan for Tahr Management Agreed

PRESS RELEASE 2 October 2018

A new tactical plan for reducing the overall number of tahr in the Southern Alps was agreed at the meeting of the Tahr Liaison Group meeting in Christchurch yesterday.

The Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, had asked the Game Animal Council to work with the Department of Conservation and key hunting sector groups to develop a plan to support DOC in reducing the number of tahr on public conservation land in the Southern Alps.

GAC Chair Don Hammond opens NZDA 2018 Conference

NZDA Annual Conference 2018
President Bill,
Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage,
President of NZ Professional Hunting Guides Association, John Scurr & Past President, Gerald Telford
Director General of DOC, Lou Sanson Distinguished Guests and members

Kauri Dieback Recreation Project – Proposing tracks for closure


The Department of Conservation has announced a proposal to close a number of tracks to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease and save kauri for future generations 

In 2014, the Government provided the Department with funding to manage the human spread of kauri dieback on tracks on public conservation land. This resulted in the Kauri Dieback Recreation Project. As there is currently no proven cure or treatment for kauri dieback, we can only save kauri by stopping it from spreading. To achieve this, the Project has taken the following approach:

Briefing Paper to the Incoming Minister

The Game Animal Council Briefing Paper to the Minister of Conservation November 2017

Mission Statement: “Sustainable management of game animals and
hunting for recreation, commerce and conservation”.
(Game animals include: wild deer, tahr, chamois & pigs)



The Game Animal Council invites the Minister of Conservation to meet as soon as possible to discuss its on-going work programme and how it will be funded.

Game Animal Council Condemns threats by Anti 1080 Group



“Those making threats to people’s lives, to aircraft and to contaminate our meat and milk should be pursued with the full force of the law and brought to justice” said Don Hammond, Chairman of the Game Animal Council.

The Game Animal Council is the statutory body that represents hunters’ interests in the sustainable management of New Zealand’s game animals for recreation, commerce and conservation.

A letter containing these threats has been sent to the Department of Conservation and Fairfax Media Group.

Export Levy Update September 2017

The Game Animal Council Act 2013 made provision for the Council to derive revenue from the export of game animal trophies from NZ. Within the Act, this was the primary, mandated funding stream provided.

During 2016 and early 2017, a proposed levy system was developed and put out for public consultation. A total of 114 individual submissions were received and these were used to modify the proposal as appropriate.

Battle for Our Birds Matukituki 2017

20 Sept 2017

Aerial 1080 operations in the Matukituki Valley.



DOC is currently preparing for aerial 1080 operations in the Matukituki Valley taking place this spring. . This work is part of Battle for Our Birds which aims to save New Zealand’s wildlife from a surge in the numbers of introduced predators – www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/battle-for-our-birds.