Southland hunters who haven’t already got their firearms licenses now, will be shut out of the maimai this duck shooting season, Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds says.
“The duck shooting season begins in Southland this Saturday (May 1), but not everyone will be able to shoot, with increased paperwork and complicated government regulations meaning police are taking months to process firearms licenses.
“It’s really disappointing for hunters to be side-lined because of these administrative delays.
“One constituent who contacted me said he was told by the Invercargill firearms office it would take his son up to six months to get his license – effectively shutting him out of the maimai this season.
“The duck shooting season in Southland only runs for ten weeks, to 11 July, so anyone who hasn’t already got their firearms license sorted by now, will effectively miss out.
“Southland duck hunters didn't have a season last year, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, now it looks like some will not be able to shoot again this year.
“I want hunters to do the right thing and adhere to the rules, but this system failure is disappointing and unacceptable.”
Mrs Simmonds said renewal of current firearms licenses in Southland was also taking four to six months, and she urged hunters to get in early to ensure that their licenses did not lapse, meaning they would no longer be able to store their guns on their property.
“Southland figures aren’t available, but across the country in December there was a backlog of 9700 firearms applications, and as of last week that number was still sitting around 9600,” Ms Simmonds says.