[14 August/Radio NZ]

The future of the Game Animal Council was uncertain with the Minster of Conservation putting it under review. It was a statutory body established in 2013 and had been allocated $600,000 from the Department of Conservation. Its goal is to improve the management of deer, chamois, tahr and wild pigs on conservation land. It was given $225,000 in this year’s budget. Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, said she was looking at the council’s role and whether it had been effective. She believed they had sought to have a greater role than the statute had given them. Two of its directors had been in Las Vegas at a show for hunting guides. It was an annual convention and the group running it had spent USD140 million on protecting the freedom to hunt. The Council’s Chair, Don Hammond, said the trip was funded by the directors personally. Peter Dunne helped establish the council when he was Associate Conservation Minister. Its future would be decided in the coming months.