The Rakiura Hunter Camp Trust was formed in the late 1990s by a group of Southland hunters, to manage the building and maintenance of hunters' huts on some of Stewart Island/Rakiura hunting blocks.
In response to problems associated with informal and unregulated campsites, a scheme was developed to build basic huts for hunters on some of the major hunting blocks on Stewart Island. A single design was developed for huts with 6 bunks and a potbelly stove.
By providing good huts and developing rules associated with their use, both the rubbish problem and the issue of trees being cut have been largely solved.
The trust's initial funding came from various sources including hunting clubs, the Southland Community Trust, DOC, Lotteries and from individuals. In the first two years, the trust was able to build eight huts using voluntary labour and donated transport.
Many hunters from the Southland Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association and other individuals gave their time and effort or donated in-kind support.
A levy for the use of a hut is included when hunters book a hunting block. This levy goes directly to the trust to keep the project running.
The trust also looks after camp sites in some of the hunting blocks without huts. In 2013 a partnership project with DOC has seen trust members and volunteers working on installing new toilets at some of these.
On-going costs include the purchase of general maintenance materials, rat poison and other materials for predator control and increased compliance costs. Maintenance work includes long-drop toilets being shifted as required, hut painting and replacing fires about every five years.
Up to 3000 people in hunting parties come to use the hunting blocks annually.
For further information, or to volunteer or donate: