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Maori Ban Duck Shooters Saying They Cause Damage

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Chris Finlayson
Chris Finlayson

Wellington, March 18 NZPA - An iwi has told the Government it wants to block duck shooters from Wellington's Pencarrow Lakes because some have been acting irresponsibly and they fear the spread of a noxious weed to the area.

The Port Nicholson treaty settlement last year gave Taranaki iwi control of the lakes, near Eastbourne to the east of Wellington, with public access guaranteed.

But duck shooter John Martin received a letter two weeks ago telling him and his mates the shooting season at the lakes starting May 1 was over because it was against the protection and preservation practices of the iwi.

"I just think it's quite sickening really," he said.

"They don't give you the opportunity to put your case."

The iwi said in a statement it wasn't banning access, just duck shooting.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said today he was looking very closely at the situation.

"I was concerned by initial reports that the trust may have purported to act outside the terms of the Treaty settlement with Taranaki Whanui. The iwi, as landowner, has the right to exclude recreational activities only if there is a risk of a significant adverse effect to the environment," Mr Finlayson said.

"The iwi believes, for a number of reasons, that such a risk is posed by didymo, and also by the irresponsible actions of some hunters."

United Future leader Peter Dunne said the shooters disputed the iwi's claim and there should be a thorough review.

"I find the claim that there is a risk from didymo quite bizarre, the conditions that didymo requires to spread and survive just do not exist in the Pencarrow lakes," Mr Dunne said.

"Such an argument if carried to its extreme would preclude the whole of the North Island from any freshwater recreational activities."

Mr Dunne said the duck shooting should be allowed to go ahead this season, while an investigation into the environmental impact of duck shooting was carried out.

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