In this section:

New Wild Animal Recovery Operation concession permit proposed

Date:  21 July 2009

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is seeking public comment on the draft national Wild Animal Recovery Operation (WARO) concession permit by 19 August 2009.

A WARO concession permit is required any time an aircraft is used on public conservation land for the searching for, shooting and recovery of wild animals or parts of wild animals. These WARO concession permits have been issued for five-year periods. Current permits are due to expire in September 2009.

Red deer and helicopter, west coast.
Red deer and helicopter, West Coast

“We have just completed a series of workshops with permit holders and stakeholders to help us develop this draft new WARO permit,” says Canterbury Conservator Mike Cuddihy.

“Current WARO permits have been used by some operators for heli-hunting which is controversial with recreational hunters.”

“We intend to make clear what a WARO does and does not cover by putting in place a new generation of concession documents specific to each activity (or activity group) such as carcass recovery, the capture and convey of live animals and heli-hunting,,” he says.

The department has developed an activity framework to clarify the status of wild animal recovery operation permits. The new permits will be implemented from 1 October 2009.

“We recognise the importance of commercial hunting as a control tool. Commercial deer recovery provides between 1-2 million dollars of free deer control annually and contributes to the national economy through exports. Recreational hunting is also recognised as a healthy recreational pursuit that is enjoyed by many people,” Cuddihy states.

“As the Department of Conservation we need to encourage both recreational and commercial hunting opportunities on public conservation land. Achieving this goal within the new concession permit is proving to be an interesting exercise for us."

Permit holders and stakeholders can view the draft national WARO concession permit, access further information and make comment by visiting