Fish and Game asked for right of reply to this post on farmers’ providing ammo for opponents.
I am happy to do so, here it is unedited:
James Houghton of Federated Farmers asks why farmers should buy licences to hunt ducks. The simple answer is that under the law, the vast majority of farmers don’t need a game licence to hunt on their own land – a truth conveniently overlooked by Mr Houghton.
He also criticises Fish & Game very unfairly over our efforts to create new wetlands or enhance existing ones. We make no apologies for this; Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game owns over 1650 hectares of wetland in the Waikato, purchased using licence income. We currently have 19 wetland restoration or construction projects underway in the Waikato, the majority on private land, working with landowners. We also advocate actively and strongly for wetlands through the RMA process and will continue to do so.
Wetlands are important for waterfowl, both native and introduced. They are also critical habitats for several native fish species. But surely as an advocate for the farming community, Houghton must be well aware of the role that wetlands play in enhancing water quality?
Instead of attacking the messenger, Houghton should be asking himself why water quality in the Waikato is still declining, and why the largest lake in the lower Waikato, Lake Waikare, is bright red from algal blooms.
After giving this some thought, he would do well to consider (as more thoughtful and forward looking members of the farming community already have), whether creating wetlands is one of the best solutions.
Chief Executive Fish & Game Auckland/Waikato Region
Paranormal pointed out, in a comment on the original post, as the letter above does, that farmers don’t need licences to shoot ducks on their own land.
That, is correct but not all farms have waterways and ponds, a lot of farmers shoot on other peoples’ land.