The Game Animal Council will manage its own affairs, arrange meetings, pay members, keep records, and manage its own finances and activities. However the Council will report to the Minister on a regular basis, including providing financial statements, budgets and income sources, other than levies.
DOC (and Minister of Conservation) will have various tasks arising from the new Act. These include:
1. Appointing Game Animal Council members and the Chair
The Minister must follow a set process including calling for nominations, publishing notices of their intention to appoint members to the Council, and making appointments by notice in the Gazette. This is a similar role to the board support role for the NZ Conservation Authority and Conservation Boards.
The Minister has responsibility for determining the rates of remuneration for members. The Minister and Director-General are both entitled to attend Council meetings. The nominees of the Minister and Director-General are entitled to speak but not to vote at the meetings.
2. Designating herds of special interest
This must be by way of notice in the Gazette and requires a herd management plan to be prepared. The Minister is responsible for approving herd management plans but they may be drafted by the Game Animal Council. There are specific consultation requirements for gazetting new herds of special interest, including with the Director-General.
3. Approving herd management plans
The Minister approves herd management plans and may approve these plans subject to conditions. The Director-General will have the opportunity to provide advice to the Minister on this role.
4. Issuing authorisations for hunting
These authorisations would be issued in accordance with the provisions of an approved herd management plan. This function is likely to be delegated to the Game Animal Council.
5. Exercising the power to approve applications to capture, convey or liberate animals
This power cannot be delegated to the Game Animal Council.
6. Appointing enforcement and honorary enforcement officers
The Director-General has the function of appointing warranted officers and honorary enforcement officers under the Act. This function will only be necessary once a herd of special interest has been designated.