ADVOCACY Historic issues


Formation to oppose the Government’s goal of exterminating red deer, with a concern of preserving the trophy value of the heads obtainable and to help put the sport of hunting on a sound footing.


Assisting with the New Zealand-Fiordland Expedition into Fiordland to study wapiti.


Assisting with wapiti in Fiordland, including red deer management culls.


NZDA adopted a policy opposed to extermination of big game animals and that control and management of all big game animal populations should be to levels consistent with the conservation of their habitat.


Opposition to the use of poison on deer proposed by the Government’s Internal Affairs Department.


Opposing the Government’s proposition that deer, now called the “deer menace”, had caused erosion and calling instead for evidence and scientific research.


NZDA officially adopts the Douglas Score method for measuring big game heads.


Protesting the use of 1080 poison use, which remains NZDA policy to this day, including on Fallow Deer in the Caples Valley, west of Lake Wakatipu and on Sika deer in the Omarau Valley, Taupo.


NZDA publishes the first edition of the Douglas Score Handbook.


NZDA plays a key role in campaigning for a sound future for Fiordland’s wapiti herd and opposed its commercial exploitation, including raising awareness and arranging for petitions to Government.


NZDA adopted a policy that opposed indiscriminate shooting and commercial exploitation of big game animals, and seeks to ensure that recreational hunters have access to hunting.


NZDA lobbies for a specially formed ‘wapiti committee’ to be instigated by the Fiordland National Park Board to ensure the future of the trophy wapiti herd, and undertakes a research project lead by NZDA member, John Henderson.


NZDA Conference report recognises the need for a national hunter training programme, with the report stating “by far the most important part … lies in the field of education and the generation of a type of sportsman who is going to act in a responsible matter”.


NZDA plays an active role in S.A.R. for national Search and Rescue operations.


NZDA published Mike Smith’s paper ‘Biology and Management of the Wapiti (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) of Fiordland, New Zealand’.


NZDA recognises our tahr herd was reduced by as much as 90% due to 35,000 tahr being killed commercially between 1971-75 for export. The South Canterbury Branch fought hardest to save our tahr. 12,000 people signed a “Save the Thar” petition which was presented to Parliament.


NZDA expedition to Dusky Sound to endeavour to locate moose. It concluded that moose must have survived at that time.


Save the Thar campaign is at its peak. NZDA held a national ‘Thar Seminar’ at Christchurch. The theme was “The Retention of Thar as a Recreational Resource and Delineation of Possible Recreational Areas”.


Wild Animal Control Act 1977 is enacted, which was promoted by NZDA. The Act provides for special areas to be set aside for recreational hunting undisturbed by commercial operations. These are known as “RHAs”.


NZDA hosts the “Exhibition of Hunting” at Wellington.


NZDA’s ‘Save the Wapiti Petition’ with 55,000 signatures was presented to Parliament at the end of May.


NZDA maintains pressure on Government regarding our dwindling tahr herd.


NZDA initiates the creation of a nucleus of a sambar deer herd to ensure full protection of sambar deer and a sambar RHA and introduction of a hunting moratorium. Sambar deer were under threat of extinction due to killing for venison export with only 90 sambar estimated to remain at the time.


NZDA successfully lobbies for a moratorium on all commercial tahr carcass recovery operations and live capture on Crown Land.


NZDA seeks protection of Galatea rusa deer herd, especially from helicopter operations.


NZDA carried out the “Thar Survey”, the result showing only an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained.  Tahr were an ‘endangered’ species.


NZDA introduces the HUNTS course programme, national hunter training programme.


NZDA makes submissions on proposed amendments to the Arms Act 1983 at the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee at Parliament.


The ‘Thar Management Plan’ is introduced by the Department of Conservation.


NZDA Members meet and propose establishing a New Zealand hunting museum.


NZDA joins the Tahr Liasion Group as a founding committee member, and remains so to this day.


NZDA lobbies for no hunting permit fees unless hunters were involved with game animal management and continues to call for a satisfactory management system for the wapiti herd in Fiordland. Hunting permits remain free to this day.


NZDA forms a National Hunting Committee to make submissions of the Government’s proposed National Deer Management Plan.


NZDA supports the formation of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) and NZDA Members are involved, including to this day.


NZDA Member, Hong Tse, and Wellington Branch of the NZDA propose forming a National Hunting Museum and Reference Library committee at Conference and report back to Conference in 1999.


NZDA made submissions on the draft New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, Kaweka Forest Park Operational Plan and the Te Urewera National Park Management Plan.


The first record book in the NZDA big game animals series, called ‘The Sika: Volume One’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series is published by NZDA, written by Bruce Banwell.


New Zealand Deerstalkers’ National Heritage Trust Inc is formally established as a charitable trust governed by a trust board of NZDA Members Tse, Cowan, Henderson, Dunajtschik, Frampton and Badland.


NZDA published ‘The Wapiti and the Moose: Volume Two’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


NZDA publishes the first edition of the HUNTS course manual.


NZDA joins the Kaweka Hunter Liaison Group in connection with Kaweka Mountain Beech Project in regard to sika deer in order to provide input to DOC. NZDA made submissions on the Fiordland National Park Management Plan, Tenure Review Programme and the Ministerial Access Reference Group.


NZDA Member, Bruce Banwell, successfully gets the name of Himalayan tahr changed from ‘thar’ as a result of persistent effort.  


NZDA published ‘The Fallow Deer: Volume Three’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


NZDA made submissions on DOC’s proposal to increase hut fees, the Conservation Authority, and on ERMA.


NZDA published ‘The Rusa, the Sambar and the Whitetail Deer Volume Four’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


NZDA supported and recommended the establishment of a ‘Game Animal Council’ after seeking input from Members in response to a Government led Consultation Panel on ‘Managing the numbers of deer, chamois, tahr and pigs’. NZDA Member and National Past President, Bill O’Leary, sat on the panel and represented the interests of hunters.


NZDA made submissions of the Kaimanawa Forest Park Management Plan. NZDA introduced the Game Animal Management Panel’s terms of reference to Branches throughout New Zealand.


NZDA made submissions on the Stewart Island Management Plan and DOC’s Regional Conservation Management Strategies, as well an ongoing pastoral lease tenure reviews and new Conservation Parks.


NZDA publishes ‘The Red Deer Part I: Volume Five’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


NZDA publishes ‘The Red Deer Part II: Volume Six’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


Game Animal Council Bill drafted and sponsored by MP, Peter Dunne, in conjunction with Labour Party Minister of Conservation, Hon Steve Chadwick, due to United Future’s supply and demand agreement underpinning the Government’s collation. NZDA makes a submission on the draft GAC Bill to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee.


NZDA celebrates the enactment of the Game Animal Council Act 2013 with a hope the statutory body will represent the interests of the hunting sector and improve the management of big game hunting resources. The GAC will be able to actively advise the Minister of Conservation regarding big game hunting issues.


NZDA publishes ‘The Alpine Chamois: Volume Seven’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, written by Bruce Banwell.


NZDA publishes ‘The Himalayan Tahr: Volume Eight’ of the New Zealand Big Game Record Series, co-written by Bruce Banwell & Marcus Pinney. This book completes the NZDA Big Game Record series.