NZ to Permit Hand-Held Thermal Technology for Hunters on Public Conservation Land

Minister McClay stated that allowing the use of hand-held thermal devices during daylight hours will enhance hunter safety and aid in the accurate identification of animals.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Wellington | Updated: 31-05-2024 11:17 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 11:17 IST
NZ to Permit Hand-Held Thermal Technology for Hunters on Public Conservation Land
  • Country:
  • New Zealand

New Zealand hunters will soon be able to use hand-held thermal technology on public conservation land, beginning 1 June, as announced by Hunting and Fishing Minister Todd McClay.

Minister McClay stated that allowing the use of hand-held thermal devices during daylight hours will enhance hunter safety and aid in the accurate identification of animals. However, the use of thermal technology attached to firearms remains prohibited, and hunters are still not allowed to discharge firearms in the dark or use night vision optics on the Department of Conservation (DOC) estate.

"Hand-held thermal technology, which detects heat sources within vegetation, has become increasingly accessible and is frequently used by hunters for both safety and improved detection of animals. Nonetheless, hunters must still confirm their target beyond any doubt before shooting," said Minister McClay.

Visitor safety was a critical factor in this decision, and discussions were held with the Land Safety Forum to ensure all safety aspects were considered. Minister McClay emphasized the importance of hunters understanding and adhering to the conditions of their hunting permits and the Firearms Safety Code to ensure everyone's safety in New Zealand's wilderness.

The DOC initially banned the use of thermal technology on public conservation land in 2010, when the technology was less available and understood. This change is part of a broader effort to support hunters, with additional measures to simplify the hunting permit process expected to be announced soon.

"This is just one of the ways we're making life easier for hunters," Minister McClay noted. "Work is also underway to make getting a hunting permit quicker and easier, and we will provide more information as this progresses."  

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