Conference Summary

The conference opened on Friday the 13th of July with guest speakers, Greg O’Conner, Don Hammond from GAC, Bill O’Leary’s Opening Address and Eugenie Sage.

Eugenie used some uncorroborated evidence to highlight the reason to cull Tahr and also mentioned that deer numbers were also excessive in some areas. Eugenie also highlighted how generous she has been with funding for GAC and stated this may not be forthcoming in the future. (The minister has not responded to my request for a copy of her speech)

Bill O’Leary started the conference on Saturday with his Annual Report. This was followed by other reports before the Notice of Motions and Remits were discussed.

There was some robust discussion on some of these before the individual votes were taken, some were passed others failed and some were withdrawn.

While this was taking place the AHT judges were scoring all the heads submitted by members. The trophies were presented to the winners during the evening, between the guest speakers Davey Hughes (from Swazi), Steve from Steve’s Wholesale, David Eaton and also the dinner. Judging from the roars of laughter the speakers were well received and entertaining.

Steve’s Wholesale also had a product display with current items stocked including Hornady reloading equipment, reloading components, ammunition, ADI powders along with some other items like Skull Hookers for displaying trophies.

Sunday brought the last of the remits to discuss and the election of the National Patron and National Executive Officers.

The new National Patron, following Ian Wright standing down, is Mark Dunajtschik.

Due to the voting decision made by branch delegates at conference James Steans withdrew his nomination for President. There was silence following this, and eventually Trevor Chappell from Taupo branch was nominated from the floor, and elected to the position, James remains as the Vice President, Rob Howey as Treasurer and Chaz as Secretary. The North Island representatives are David Hudson & Tim Watson, following a vote the two South Island representatives are Snow Hewetson and Ian Owen.

This year’s conference, hosted by Wellington branch, was very well attended with approx 30 branches represented and was very well run. There was a Heritage Trust display with some duplicate books for sale, a spouses outing, and some fantastic entertainment.


  • Trevor Chappell National President
  • James Steans National Vice President
  • Rob Howey National Treasurer
  • Chaz Forsyth National Secretary National Life Member
  • Mark Dunajtschik Patron
  • David Hudson North Island Representative
  • Tim Watson North Island Representative
  • Snow Hewetson South Island Representative
  • Ian Owen South Island Representative
  • Mike Bradstock Editor of Hunting & Wildlife
  • Jim Peffers National HUNTS Co-ordinator

2018 AHT Report

This years NZDA National Antler, Horn and Tusk Competition drew 50 entries and all species were accounted for, except for Sambar. The number of junior entries was down, with only 4 entered. There were also 4 Lady entries, but the biggest surprise was a record 8 entries in the over 65 category. You know there are some good hunters within the association when you see Chamois that go 28 DS, Tahr at 47 DS, Fallow at just over 252 DS, and a Fiordland deer come in at 363 1⁄4 DS. The Fiordland deer went on to win Shane Lawson from Gore & Districts branch the coveted Orbell Trophy for best head of all species. The Waikato Branch trophy for best DS entry by a member 65 or older was a close race with Chamois, Fallow, Tahr, Sika and Whitetail all entered. In the end Jen Mitchell from Upper Clutha branch stole the victory with her Fallow scoring an impressive 348.27 DS Red deer equivalent. Jen also became the very first Lady member to ever win the Waikato branch Trophy. The Judging Panel this year consisted of, John Wills (Chief Judge), Andy Lang (Deputy Chief Judge South Island) Mark Nobilo (Deputy Chief Judge North Island), Brian Witton, Vern Pearson, Rodney Smith, Craig Shaw and Len Cubitt. They were assisted by Trainee Judges David Keen, Richard Berger, Brent Neville and David Eaton. My thanks to these guys who did an awesome job. From the 50 entries in the competition, 29 were NZ Record book. There was also a total of 12 medals awarded as well, with 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze medals. Looking forward to 2019, we would like to see more Juniors, more Ladies and some Bow Hunters please. For the guys that hunt the Manawatu, it would be nice to see a Sambar next year. So hot barrels, you have 10 months before we do it all again.

Mark Sarjeant AHT Competition Manager



Alastair Scott MP 70 Evans Street

The Member for Wairarapa Opoho

Private Bag 18888 DUNEDIN 9010

Parliament Buildings 27JUL2018

WELLINGTON 6160 my email


Dear Sir,

Arms (Prohibition on Shortened Firearms) Amendment bill

As a student of firearm control matters for some years, I could not help noticing your bill. Although I appreciate your concern about unlawful firearm possession and misuse and related matters (which, as I am sure you are aware, was considered by the previous administration), I fear there are certain deficiencies in your proposed legislation which will effectively make many licensed arms owners into offenders should it be passed into law. I am referring to the shortening of a firearm barrel. Firearm barrels (usually rifle barrels) are usually shortened by cutting a distance from the muzzle end, but some of mine have been shortened from the breech end as well. Regardless of which end is chosen, the reasons for such alterations, hitherto not unlawful, include:

(a) Disposal of a damaged piece of barrel, the muzzle being the last portion of the firearm which a bullet touches as it

is guided towards its target; (b) Refitting the barrel to a different action, involving different breech (action) threading; (c) Refitting the barrel with a chambering different from its original construction, viz. .308 to .30-30, or .308 to .30-40 Krag; (d) Fitting a suppressor or muzzle brake, this normally involving removal of the last 25 mm or so of a barrel before cutting

the thread; (e) Cutting a barrel to a shorter length to remove shotgun chokes or damage near the muzzle arising from firing while

the bore was obstructed; (f) To ensure the physical removal of burrs etc from the muzzle as part of normal rifle-smithing practice when eliminating

possible sources of deficiency of rifle performance; (g) Ergonomic reasons, as when converting a surplus military rifle into a form more suitable for a short-statured person,

or for any person to use in the closer confines of our forests for hunting.

I should perhaps add that under the Arms Act 1983, section 2 defines a pistol, and more than 20 sections of that Act prescribe conditions under which a pistol may be lawfully, and may not be lawfully held. Simply cutting a firearm to an overall length of less than 762 mm is illegal under the present Act.

You may have concerns about the penalties pertaining to such transgressions, and that is another matter. I am mindful too that the Police, already over-stretched and somewhat under-funded as a result of past budgetary constraints, are unlikely to be at all enthusiastic about a proposal which will increase their workload (or electronic form processing, when that takes place).

In my view, the existing law contains many penalties, some of which are severe in terms of the financial penalty and/or the term of imprisonment which they offer for those convicted. They may be thought inadequate in light of inflationary trends, but I should observe that the judiciary seems unwilling to apply the maximum penalties, and resistance to mandatory minimum penalties are argued by their ilk to be seen as ‘interfering with judicial autonomy’. I should add that I am a fellow of the NZ Society of Gunsmiths (NZSG) and am currently undertaking full-time study on firearms in the NZ community for a university degree. At least one of my books, the latest of which, “New Zealand Firearms”, may be found in the Parliamentary library. I hope you will review your bill, and suspect that a former parliamentarian from your locality, the Hon Stephen Franks, will confirm what I’ve written, should you seek confirmation from a third party. Yours faithfully,

Chaz Forsyth

Reference: Sections 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18(1), 18(2), 18A, 20(b), 29, 30, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 59 of the Arms Act (1983) (SR 1983/44).