Fish and Game NZ is extremely concerned at the government’s Natural and Built Environment bill (NBEA) designed to replace the Resource Management Act (RMA).
The proposed Bill creates a new framework for how New Zealand manages its natural environment including freshwater, bio-diversity and resources. Fish and Game is extremely concerned about the implications for the sustainable management of our natural environment and the future of game bird hunting and freshwater fishing.
They are particularly worried about the significant shift away from valuing introduced species such as trout and salmon. While appropriately recognising Māori cultural values and indigenous species and industry, the Bill completely ignores the value all New Zealanders place on recreation and enjoyment of our great outdoors.
“The Bill removes the habitat protection of trout and salmon, which has long been safeguarded by the RMA,” says a Fish and Game release.
This will fundamentally strip Fish and Game’s ability to carry out its statutory duty to provide for the interests of anglers and hunters and to ensure freshwater habitats, including wetlands, are healthy and support trout, salmon and game bird populations..
For example, an angler who wants to have a say in how a favourite river is managed, such as during a consent process or regional plan, the values will be ignored because they will not be reflected in the legislation.
The ‘Thin edge of the Wedge‘
“We believe the Government’s reform of the RMA represents the thin edge of the wedge and will likely usher in further law changes threatening the future of hunting and fishing, the species we harvest and the organisations that currently manage trout, salmon, game birds and big game.”
Outdoor recreation remains an essential part of living in New Zealand. More than 300,000 Kiwis fish and hunt, the highest it’s ever been. Our world-class fishing and hunting attracts high-value tourists from all around the world.
Fish and Game NZ are calling on the government to:-
(1) Reinstate the protection of the habitat of trout and salmon as a priority outcome;
(2) Recognise recreational and enjoyment values for freshwater and the natural environment;
(3) Recognise angling values for freshwater;
(4) Provide for meaningful participation for hunters, anglers and those that enjoy the outdoors in shaping how the natural environment is managed at a regional and catchment level;
(5) Strive for ecological health outcomes, recognising that people are part of the environment. New Zealand can have a healthy environment even when it has been modified.
Footnote:- Fish and Game NZ’s campaign website is https://ourfuture.fishandgame.org.nz/
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