Great Barrier Island HUNTS

Great Barrier Island HUNTS

Hunting and Wildlife Magazine - Summer Issue 223


Lying 92 kilometres northeast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf is Great Barrier Island. The island has a population of around 1000 residents and is the home to the Great Barrier Island (GBI) HUNTS course. Roger Bright is the local Senior Police Constable and along with his wife Kylie they police the Island. I got to know Roger and Kylie some years back. Roger was the firearms safety instructor who delivered the training and testing to new licence applicants on the island. He is a very keen hunter and passionate about giving the island’s younger generation every opportunity to learn about hunting.

Having qualified as a HUNTS Instructor, Roger started delivering HUNTS to senior school students in 2010.  Much of the course is delivered on the island including the theory sessions, practical bushcraft components and shooting skills on the range. Previously, Roger used to set up a rifle range on a farm just out of Claris township, but with the new regulations requiring all ranges to be certified, this could have potentially spelled the end of GBI HUNTS. With support from NZDA Direct Branch, the

range was certified, allowing the course to continue in 2023.

Roger fly’s the young trainees off the island for the hunting weekend. Great Barrier Airlines is one of the amazing sponsors, as you can imagine it is an expensive exercise to get a group of nine to the mainland. Once landed in Auckland, the group is met by another amazing sponsor ‘Blue Light’, who support youth programmes. Their vehicle is used to transport people and gear to the hunting block near Piopio. Here, trainees get to hunt goats and learn about stalking, harvesting and processing game.

The GBI HUNTS course is unique, and very special in its own way. It does not deviate from the syllabus but does provide for a younger age group of HUNTS trainees and for the island youth to access hunting on the mainland. Congratulations to Roger, the sponsors and his group of dedicated assistants who each year turn up to deliver HUNTS to a new generation of hunters.



I mentioned in the spring edition of H&W, that there has been a substantial increase in the demand for qualified Range Officers throughout NZDA Branches, both in the North and South Islands. The new Arms Regulations now requires an Officer on Duty (Range Officer) to be present during range shooting activities where there is one or more shooters present. Since the last issue of H&W, we have recruited and trained new Range Officer Trainers for the North and South Islands.

The Range Officer (RO) course is based on a standard called LCC30 ‘Conduct a live fire exercise on a range’. LCC30 is a recognised standard for the qualification of NZDA Range Officers. The course covers eight hours of both theory and practical exercises including preparing for a range activity, delivering a range briefing, conducting live fire and range clearance. This training covers the roles and responsibilities for Officer on Duty as required by the regulations.

Recently, in late October and early November, we delivered both North and South Island RO ‘Train the Trainer’ workshops for nominated new trainers and current trainers. The workshops were conducted over one and a half days using the NZDA Taupo and Christchurch range facilities. Like the RO course, theory and practical exercises were covered in the training. Congratulations to the new RO trainers: Hamish Orr (Kapiti), Simon Hickton and Gary Jackson (Waikato), Kris Lyall (Taupo), Mitch Pascoe (Thames Valley), Paddy Curtin (North Taranaki), Ian Turner (Taranaki), Tony Bryant (Auckland), Gavin Green (North Auckland), John Cowan (Te Awamutu), Scott Gillam (Upper Clutha), Mark Hastie and Frans Laas (Otago). A huge thank you to the current trainers who attended and helped enormously with their experience and expertise: David Nicol (Auckland), Ian Patterson (Manawatu), Bill O’Leary (Nelson), Ian Brabbs (North Canterbury), Chaz Forsyth (Otago), Peter Oldham (Rakaia), Peter Henderson (Southern Lakes), Peter Miles (Taupo) and Bob McMillan (North Auckland). Also, a sincere thanks to Taupo and North Canterbury Branches for making their range facilities available. If there are any Branches who are interested in qualifying additional Range Officers, please contact me or any one of the trainers listed above. 




WORDS BY: PADDY CURTIN    North Island HUNTS Assessor


I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all warranted and provisional HUNTS Instructors across the country for the great volunteer work they are doing, and the skills they are helping to impart on tomorrow’s hunters. All these people are keeping the wheels turning on what is becoming quite a big machine as the HUNTS brand continues to expand across the country.

This past quarter has been a busy one in the North Island, with eight branches running HUNTS Courses through the spring months, and the result being four new HUNTS Instructors and another four very close to completion.


A special mention needs to be made of our four newest North Island HUNTS Instructors:

Deb Simon from Wellington, Scott Race from Manawatu, Michael Mills from Hutt Valley,

and Mark Soper from Hutt Valley.


These four have now been assessed against all six standards required to qualify as HUNTS Instructors, and have shown just how much skill, passion, and expertise NZDA has in its membership, and within the HUNTS Instructor pool. They now join the already very experienced HUNTS teams within their respective branches as HUNTS Instructors, enabling their branches to continue to run courses into the future.


Looking forward to 2024, we have three branches planning their very first HUNTS Course early in the New Year, plus another six established courses which will start in January/February. This means the early part of next year will be another positive time of growth for the HUNTS program as we see more instructors and graduates created.


If any branches are thinking about running a HUNTS Course in the future and want 2024 or 2025 to be their year, please contact me and I can help you with the process. Even if it is just a thought right now, or you have a question or two, reach out and I will do what I can to help.


Write for Hunting and Wildlife

Shop Hunting and Wildlife

Join NZDA To Help Us Advocate on Your Behalf