WARO permit review update

2018-2019 WARO review

So far, the result of the DOC review of WARO permits has been say the least. For the Lower North Island hunters, we are back to when DOC (invalidly) opened the Remutaka and parts of Tararuas to WARO. This was after 30 years plus of WARO exclusion, and adequate control of deer by recreational hunters. Despite the High Court ruling the the changes were “invalid”, the department ignored this ruling, and treated the areas as the status quo. Meaning no need for change. DOC also ignored the advice of their own Regional Offices advice, and appear to be pandering to the WARO industry in making every land area open to WARO, where possible.

DOC has been informed that if necessary, the LNIRDF will take the department to the High Court again.

In the previous successful Judicial Review, the issue of relief  for the Foundation was discussed by Judge France. The foundation accepted that the cancellation of the existing WARO permits was not required, given that the department told the court that a full national review of WARO permitting was underway. On this basis, the foundation did not argue the existing permits should be cancelled.

The department reneged on that promise. In this latest permit review, the department is again raising the possibility of a full review of the WARO permitting. Needless to say, we are sceptical that this will happen, and want a clear binding assurance that a WARO permit review will in fact happen.

The refusal by DOC to rescind the invalidly removed WARO closure areas in Remutaka and Tararua is akin to a thief being allowed to keep stolen property, despite being convicted of theft. The department has chosen to regard the decisions that were ruled invalid in the High Court, as being the “status Quo” in deciding the latest round of WARO exclusions. There are not high deer numbers in these areas, and recreational hunters have managed the deer population successfully for the last 40 years or so.

The process is not completed yet, and hopefully the department will see that hunters are serious in challenging these decisions


Read the LNIRDF submission to the second round of consultation below

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Posted: Thu 07 Mar 2019