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Newsletter - May 2017

The New Zealand Outdoors Party
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The New Zealand Outdoors Party

Our way of life is founded on our ability to access and enjoy the great outdoors for recreation and food gathering, this is what makes us uniquely New Zealand. Our mission is simple: To protect and enhance those values for everyone, for ever.
We want future generations to be able to enjoy our natural environment from the seas to the mountain tops and have this opportunity protected and set in stone now.

A big Hi to all members and supporters.

Sorry if we seem to nagging everyone. We are now getting into election year and unfortunately for the party we are still trying to finalise our registration. This has been a frustrating business as whilst modern organisations use online membership systems the Electoral Commission insists all political parties provide the physical signatures and evidence of paid subscriptions of their members. We have more than the 500 members required to register but don't have all the corresponding signatures or membership subs. The system sometimes feels stacked against new parties and it is now a race against time for us - We only have until 28 June to sort this out.
Members who have not provided their signature will have had a letter and a form with a self addressed Freepost envelope. Please sign that form and pop it in the post. To pay your subs you can either stick $5.00 in the envelope or click on any of the links below. Another option is to sign a bit of paper (don't forget to write your name above your signature) and take a photo with your phone camera and text or email that to the links below.
We have applied for funding from the electoral commission but it all relies on us getting registered so please don't muck around do it now.
1. Text signature photo to 0274 980 304
2. Email signature photo to
3. Send signature form in the postage paid envelope provided in your letter.
4. If you have lost the letter or envelope send to: Outdoors Party, Freepost Authority 252122, Po Box 1546, Nelson.
5. To Pay a sub use kiwibank 38-9017-0320052-00

Alan Simmons & David Haynes

Links to Recent Articles of Interest and Press Releases.

  • Interview with David Haynes 30th March 2017 - Stuff website
  • Hunters take DoC to court. 4th May 2017 - hunters-versus-doc-in-court
  • European Union Has Better Swimmable Water Standards - Swimmable Water Standards
  • Just How Well Do We Measure Freshwater Quality? - Measure Freshwater Quality
  • Submission On the Clean Water Consultation 2017 - Submission
  • Political Voice for hunters and fisherman. - Political Voice for hunters and fisherman
  • Nick Smith's Swimmable Water Standard - Nick Smith's Swimmable Water Standard
  • Letter to Listener - Peak Paradise article
  • Future of Our Fisheries Consultation - Future of Our Fisheries
  • Outdoors Party Calls For Quality Not Quantity Tourism - Quality Touursm
  • Professor Dame Anne Salmond calls for rivers to become trusts - Time for radical approaches to protect our environment

  • Alan Simmons Issues Update

    Alan Simmons - Co Leader

    As mentioned we now have over 500 members and numbers growing by the day, but the race is on as we only have until 28 June 2017. I never thought it would be so hard to collate 500 signatures and subs but we are all busy and things like this get left to last minute. I know I'm like that - things sit on my desk for months all with a "gosh I must do that". So sorry if I'm nagging you!
    I can't help but suspect (my ear to the ground can hear toms-toms beating) that as we get closer to the election some issues will arise that will change the political landscape and we need to be ready to take advantage of that.
    We have been following reactions to the firearms review Select Committee report with interest and we see the only way for responsible hunters to respond is via this coming election. The Green party had a policy statement on their website committing to banning all "fully semi-automatic weapons" (whatever they are). That would include virtually all of the 34,000 licenced duck hunters semi auto shotguns and every Ruger 10/22 the firearm of choice for rabbit and possum control. This policy has since been removed from their web site but it goes to show you the thinking of those who associate firearms ownership with criminal activity. With two or three exceptions all the recommendations seek to impose administrative and cost burden on licenced firearms owners and the Police, some even recommending what is currently the law, such as only licensed firearms owners being able to buy ammunition!
    What was supposed to be an inquiry into how guns were getting into the hands of gangs has morphed into anti-gun rhetoric, crazy when we have an Arms Act much admired by other countries. As law-abiding firearms owners know, the issue is not the law as it stands but rather how it is inconsistently and patchily applied by the Police.
    We're also being kept pretty busy lobbying and submitting on issues salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds, water abstraction and bottling/shipping pure mountain water, access issues with foreign ownership, the use of helicopters to spray herbicides all over our steeper hill country to over-sow with cattle crops and the perpetual aerial sowing of aerial 1080 (60 years and we still have rats, stoats and possums, not to mention feral cats and wasps).

    On top of all that is DoC and the Game Animal Council's declaration in their February 2017 consultation document that "The Council is committed to exploring other sources of revenue once it is fully operational, including from the recreational hunting sector (my emphasis). It expects to review the game trophy export levy after the Council has been able to establish other revenue streams."
    This proposal has come out as a result of the commercial trophy hunting interests objecting to the proposed levy on exported trophy heads (of which 80% go to the US). Their view is "why should we have to pay all the costs of running the Game Animal Council when it is primarily for the benefit of recreational hunters on the public estate. We are waiting to find out as to what form this recreational charge will take, how it will be collected and just who will pay. All pig hunters? Locals after some meat for the family or even farmers on private farmland?. Our policy is that while DOC continue to treat deer as a pest and poison them we will not pay anything that might help them with their extermination plan.
    So lots to do and I haven't even touched on salt-water fishing, over use of our back country by tourists or more funding for DoC & regional councils to handle the tourist numbers.....but we need to get registered first so please join with us urgently and get your friends on-board.

    Rosanne RobertsonFreshwater issues - the parlous state of our precious waterways

    By Rose Robertson - Party Membership

    Freshwater issues - the parlous state of our precious waterways are now almost a daily feature of our media and rate highly as a top issue on the political agenda. They have shaken up the Government and they have shaken up the Greens.
    These issues show plainly in how quickly the Outdoors Party has attracted membership to (hopefully) put forward a candidate stand in the forthcoming election.
    From recent reports by the Government's chief science adviser, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the Ministry for the Environment, to regular news reports quoting many sources such as Forest & Bird, opinion pieces by the respected columnists Pattrick Smellie and Dave Armstrong, cartoons by Tom Scott, blogs and letters to the editor - to the issue of allowing private enterprise to sell finite pristine water overseas, all point to an urgent need for New Zealand to act now.
    Last week a joint report by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand was released called Our Freshwater Environment 2017. This made the dramatic statement that most of the country's native freshwater species were at risk of extinction as water quality faces "serious pressure". One-third of native freshwater invertebrates and a third of native freshwater plants were also at risk, it said.
    Nitrogen levels (linked with intensive agriculture and dairying) were worsening and urban water was more polluted than ever.
    The fish threatened with extinction, included four whitebait species, hugely popular with all kiwis - either catching it or eating it - and longfin eels. And what does this mean for the trout, which attract tourists in large numbers from many countries?
    The fact that smaller waterways are excluded from the Government's recent promise to make most NZ rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040 in fact means that about 90 percent of the popular swimming spots will miss out, according to Forest & Bird. The National Policy Statement closed for public consultation on April 28.
    This Government needs to take immediate action. As the Gluckman report states: "The challenge remains: we rely on agriculture for economic prosperity, we exploit our rivers and lakes for power generation and we live in sprawling urban areas in close association with our freshwater estate. Yet we also value high quality lakes and rivers for our tourism industry, ecosystem services, and for their cultural and recreational values. Shifting this relationship is not simply a matter of shifting emphasis, it will require deeper consideration of longer-term strategies including how new technologies and approaches can assist both the economy and the environment. There is no universal set of solutions ., and some, may take decades to have maximal effect. New ways of utilizing our land for economic gain that also have lower environmental footprints need to be found and adopted if we are to meet the vision New Zealanders have for their fresh waters."

    David Haynes co-leader Comments on a number of current issues

    Both Alan and I sneaked off for a couple of weeks to do our respective trout fishing forays last month, a welcome respite from the workload getting the Outdoors Party fighting fit. I have been down in Canterbury fishing on some high country stations for eight days straight which was breath-taking and a reminder of how precious unfettered access to our back country is, especially given the increased number of sales of substantial land parcels to overseas buyers (up five times since the previous twelve months) and the Overseas Investment Office's disinclination to ensure public access as a condition of any such sale.
    We now have the 500 members required to register the party with the Electoral Commission but not signatures or subs so we will continue to nag, persuade and cajole all those who have yet to return their signed forms to us, or paid the $5.00 membership fee. We know it is a pain when so much can be done online in a matter of minutes but that's how the Electoral Commission insists on proving we have the necessary members.
    We have also applied for an slice of the $4.146 million Broadcasting Allocation for the 2017 General Election. This public money can be used for radio, television and internet advertising, for both production and airtime costs. We had a teleconference with the Electoral Commission on 6 April 2017 to put the case as to why we should receive funding.
    The Outdoors Party continues to maintain close links with advocacy organisations with shared values and we continue to meet and talk with Legasea, NZ Sports Fishing Council, NZ Deerstalkers Association, Ban 1080, NZ Recreation Association, Fish & Game, NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers, CORANZ. Federated Mountain Clubs and Choose Clean Water. We always welcome feedback from you, our members, as to with whom else we should be forging relationships. We recognise that all these organisations fiercely maintain political independence, so rather than expect them to openly back us we have taken their policies and adopted them as the core of our policies - simple.
    We enjoy and appreciate the communications we're having with members over a wide range of issues, so please keep talking to us - it's your party and it's your ideas and values we want to represent.
    Both Alan and I are ringing around papers and magazines looking to raise the profile of the Outdoors Party. We provided Fish & Game magazine with a piece on how water quality monitoring is done in NZ and David continues to write the Reel Life piece for the Fish & Game web site as ex-President of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers. The Nelson Leader, a free local newspaper did a piece on the Outdoors Party which we have reproduced below and we are chasing both the Taupo Times and Nelson Mail for further interviews on what the Outdoors Party is about.
    The whole sporting shooter's community has railed against the Select Committee recommendations on illegal firearms control and have consensus on the following:
    a) There is little confidence from submitters that a national gun register would have any positive effect on limiting illegal firearm possession.
    b) The NZ firearms laws are some of the best in the world.
    c) The procedures used by NZ Police in managing legal firearms licences is inconsistent and patchy.
    d) Do not punish the law abiding firearms user.

    Game Animal Council Seeks Funding from Recreational Hunters
    The recent consultation document, jointly produced by Department of Conservation and the Game Animal Council included the following statement (pp13).
    "The Council is committed to exploring other sources of revenue once it is fully operational, including from the recreational hunting sector (my emphasis). It expects to review the game trophy export levy after the Council has been able to establish other revenue streams."
    As GAC was given minimal funding when established it was expected to raise its own money to operate, the intention under the Game Animal Council Act 2013 being this would come from GAC levying a trophy export fee - every trophy head that left the country would trigger a levy to be collected by Customs and Excise. GAC's annual operating expenditure is around $1.6M a year so DoC and GAC set a figure of $300 per trophy, based on 5,300 exports per annum.
    Given that the majority of such trophy heads come from private trophy hunting estates their response was akin to "why should we pay all the costs when most of GAC's work benefits recreational hunters on the public estate?" A reasonable question and one which may have resulted in the DoC/GAC stated intention to charge recreational hunters. Under the GAC Act there appears to be only two mandated methods that the GAC can raise funds for its owns operation:
    1. Levies on trophy exports
    2. Charging for hunting Herds of Special Interest
    Inevitably the fears of a recreational hunting licence has been raised on hunting forums. The almost universal response to this has been negative - "What are we paying for?" and "We've never paid before, why now?" being typical positions. The Outdoors Party agrees with this sentiment - if recreational hunting on the public estate continues as-is, why would we pay when we have no control and precious little input into WARO, aerial 1080, culling, etc and when our game animals are legislated as "pests" under the National Parks Act 1980, (s)4.2b "to be exterminated."
    As Legasea, the advocacy arm of the NZ Sports Fishing Council says "no regulation without representation". So what if we flipped the current situation where DoC decides the fate of our national game herd, consulting with GAC as an advisory body only and instead had the Game Animal Council managing the national game herd consulting with DoC as an advisory body only? And what if the Game Animal Council was elected by those recreational hunting licence holders, just like Fish & Game? And what if the licence was $100 per annum yielding $20M per annum to fund game herd protection and management?
    The Outdoors Party supports DoC, the good work is does and wants to see its status and funding elevated to reflect the taonga of our public estate, gazetted and stewardship alike. But when it knowingly damages our hunting (aerial 1080, unilateral WARO concessions in the Ruahines, Tararuas and Rimutakas and St James, etc), there is every reason to try a new management model, especially after decades of arguing, reasoned debate, collaboration, forums, discussions, feedback and every other means to persuade DoC that game animals are not pests and should be managed sustainably for the recreational hunter first and foremost, have failed.

    Downloaded joining form here, sign and freepost OR Sign up online.

    That's it for this newsletter!
    If you have anything you would like to contribute please contact me, Alan Simmons at
    David Haynes
    Once again I thank you for your continued support. Please put your hand up if you can help and also we need you to keep working on other outdoors people to join. Send this newsletter on to your club or get us mentioned in your club newsletter.

    Until next time.

    Alan Simmons

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    New Zealand Outdoors Party