30 October 2014 Media Statement
Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne welcomes today’s joint announcement by the Game Animal Council and the Te Urewera Trust Board regarding access to the land previously known as Te Urewera National Park.
Last year’s Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Ngai Tuhoe created a new legal identity for Te Urewera and the land is now co-governed by Crown and Tuhoe representatives, the Te Urewera Trust Board. This was given effect by the Te Urewera Act 2014 and creates a framework that has no precedent in New Zealand.
The Te Urewera Board has decided to undertake a review of the access to and management of the land. The Game Animal Council and the Board have met to discuss this review.
“The Game Animal Council was established earlier this year with the purpose of representing hunters and giving them a voice as well as working with the Department of Conservation to manage New Zealand’s game animal resource. So, I am glad to see the Council engaging with Tuhoe on this issue. Te Urewera is a long established and well-loved area for hunting and contains a number of deer herds of specific interest.
“I urge hunters to remain patient during this review process. I am assured there is no intention to block access to Te Urewera for hunters. Both the Council and the Board desire an outcome that reflects the needs and requirements of all interested parties” said Mr Dunne.
The Game Animal Council Chairman Don Hammond has emphasised that the Council is working with the Board to ensure hunting is appropriately incorporated into the long term management of Te Urewera.
“Without the Council there would be no unified voice for hunters in this process and it is satisfying to see them taking a leading role in upholding hunter interests” said Mr Dunne.
Media Contact: Rob Eaddy 04 817 9890