“The Government’s decision to ban an estimated 200,000 Kiwis from hunting at Alert Level 3 is illogical and I have written to Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters to ask them to reconsider this issue”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The move appears to be based on the view that hunting represents a heightened risk. In fact, hunting is safer than some other recreational activities that will be allowed at Alert Level 3.

A 2017 study conducted on behalf of New Zealand Search and Rescue showed that, between 2010 and 2017, 29 people died while hunting. The study also recorded 70 swimming and 56 tramping fatalities over the same period. Both swimming and tramping are allowed at Alert Level 3.

“I am asking the Government to take an evidence-based approach. As we’ve seen with judgments on what an ‘essential’ business is, arbitrary and illogical decisions lead to confusion and are viewed by the public as unfair, undermining confidence in the Government’s COVID-19 response.

“The Government’s decision to move from ‘essential’ to ‘safe’ economic activity is the correct one. New Zealanders should be trusted to follow basic rules to keep themselves safe. It should apply the same logic to recreation.

“Hunting is a safe activity. Any risks can be minimised if hunters go with people in their bubble, don’t take learners, take time-limited trips, leave notices of intentions, and take forms of emergency contact with them.

“But hunting is not just a recreational activity. Many New Zealanders hunt as a means of providing food for their families and whanau.

“Licenced firearms owners are deeply frustrated that the Government appears to have singled them out yet again.

“ACT is calling on the Government to reconsider its position on this issue.”