Recently, I attended a Hunting and Fishing Influencers Forum led by the Game Animal Council and Fish and Game. It was a productive day set aside to discuss the future of fishing and hunting in NZ. Despite there being many strong personalities within the audience, everyone was in basic agreement about the challenges we face and the direction we need to move in as a community to ensure we secure the same rights and pastimes for our mokopuna (grandchildren) as we have enjoyed. This was heartening, as it seems there are a lot of synchronicities of purpose between our peers no matter which fishing, hunting or shooting discipline you undertake.
In general, the day’s topics revolved around our messaging to our own communities and to the rest of New Zealanders – particularly those who would hunt or fish if given the opportunity, as that’s where our growth lies. We spoke about how best to combat further unfair legislation and regulations that penalise ordinary Kiwis who enjoy hunting and gathering. The need for further partnership with iwi and mana whenua in Aotearoa was discussed as well as the opportunity to work together to ensure every New Zealander has the chance to utilise our world-class outdoors for the benefit of their mental health, wairua (spirit) and wellbeing.
There was a diverse set of skills present in the room; it clearly confirmed we have a very talented leadership base in this group of New Zealanders. The key now is to utilise that cohesion and build an effective streamlined team tasked with defending our rights to hunt and fish. There’s much work to be done, but I’m confident we have the skills and drive to achieve our goals.
Following on from last year’s groundbreaking Sika Show, NZRod&Rifle is this year holding a photo competition with prizes including big names like Swarovski Optik and Glass Art. For more information, or if you’d like to enter any amazing photos showing you and your whanau out hunting, or any landscape or wildlife pictures, go to the competition page here.