Notes taken from a regional meeting: combined Southern Branches, 01SEP2018, South Otago Branch club rooms, Balclutha

Opening: 1015

Present: Warren Buchanan, (President, South Otago), Richard Moat (Past President, Gore and Districts), Glenn Dickson (President, Gore and Districts), Murray Burns (Secretary, Upper Clutha), John McLean President, Upper Clutha), Tony Higgins (Past President, Upper Clutha), Andrew Murray (South Otago), Jim Kroening (South Canterbury), Stuart Murray (South Otago), Robyn Bradley (Branch Secretary, North Otago), Herman Hoedemaker (Secretary, Otago), Nathan Barnes (President, North Otago), Ben Eatwell (Secretary-Treasurer, South Otago), Helen Owen (South Canterbury, Otago), Ian Owen (South Canterbury, Otago, S Is National Executive), Chaz Forsyth (Otago, National Secretary).

Apologies: Roy Swailes (President, Otago), Steve Robinson (President, Southland), Wilson (Blue Mountains), Steve Joyce & Michael Blair (Palmerston)


Matters arising from previous meeting: None

Discussion about Conference;
 Host branch and venue for 2019 Conference: no branch has indicated an intention to host it.
 Support for consistent conference venues, ie Wellington or alternately Wellington and Christchurch, without burdening local branches who could become sick of hosting conference;
 Branches combine to organise a conference? ie a combination of Wellington and Hutt Valley branches when held in Wellington.
 Template for conference organisation (“Blue book” already in existence);
 An opportunity for branches to earn some money;
 Conference format – less formality desired;
 Condense the AGM and incorporate trade shows or other relative activities;
 Conference timing – late June or Later July thought better than present timing; NOT DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
 Freighting of trophies to conference a major headache because of expense;
 Investigate a national carrier for freighting trophies; This could be extended to freight for membership, with a discount provision; Use a centralised dispatch point for branches eg five for Sth Is; This would require cooperation between branches; Need to photographically record trophies before dispatch;
 Pictures of suitable boxes to be supplied by Jim Kroening;
 Remits from branches will be discussed at the next regional meeting – this will allow feedback on proposed remits and removal of those remits that aren’t relevant
 As an example, a display of fuzzy thinking was that 1/3 of the business brought before the 2018 annual conference (NOMs and Remits) were withdrawn.

Social Media/Website;
 Need for more information to be posted on facebook/website:
 Quickly remove or refute false/fictitious posts on our facebook page:
 Revamp facebook page to attract younger members
 Rubbish on social media of concern as some take false statements as true
 NZDA Website badly needs an overhaul
 PR efforts often wasted – statements issued but never appear in news media – need to effectively use facebook/website to get our messages out Branches/Membership
 Absence of branches from this meeting – are we doing something wrong?
 Average branch member does not care about political matters and annual conferences, is only interested in hunting;
 Need to grow members to have a bigger voice: How can we use the voice we already have more effectively?
 Need for technology savvy people to be on committees (only 6 of 16 present indicated use of FaceBook);
 Find small goals, achieve these before starting on major ones;
 Graded/tiered membership levels (like Federated Farmers)
 Membership benefits need publicity
 Noted that only 3 of NZDA management (and designated appointees) can amend FaceBook material. Tim Watsons expertise and activity greatly appreciated.
 Nth Otago expressed concern about the length of time taken to get Hunts instructors qualified, no one disputed this but legal liabilities require trained instructors and a formal Hunts program rather than a informal course. UC branch has 8 or 9 HUNTs instructors who could be ‘loaned’ to other branches to assist with their HUNTs course. Yet lack of liaison between branches seemed to preclude this so far.

Business: (from today’s meeting agenda).
What do branches want/expect from National Executive?
Exec members need to be more open about what they’re doing – nobody knows why they are busy.
Executive should state what it’s done, put in national office newsletter regularly.
Branches need specific help to prepare submissions because turnover of branch officers and failure of predecessors to leave guidance for successors inhibits conveyance of knowledge and understanding. Hence, training needed for branch officers to prepare submissions on matters like the recent WARO and Tenure Reviews etc. Upper Clutha’ branch expertise noted on this.
Suggestions: Natex exists to protect member’s interests

For ensuring effective communication on topics as needed, for explanatory material to aid
lobbying/advocacy by branches.
Notification from Natex on the Associations position regarding matters that submissions are required for
Need to excite NZDA members into activity and for administrative tasks at branch level – these to be delegated, again, to inform, share, again, pointing to need for national and branch executive members to promulgate their efforts MUCH more widely. Mention made of role descriptions for Br Officers.

What do branches want/expect from Regional Representative
 Liaison person
 Communications: Liaison between Natex and branches, and from branches to Natex.  Liaison between National Office and Branches, and branches to National Office. Foster communication between branches
 Coordination between branches (feedback from branches at times was notably absent despite specific requests made from Nat Office and NatEx members)
 Previous problem noted – Communication from NatEx to branches or rather, the lack of it. Generally felt that this has greatly improved with the current South Island Rep
 Business cards to be available with contact details – most branch reps present claimed they were unaware of who on the NatEx to contact, and Assn website was of no value here. No contact details for National Exec members on the website.

Items from agenda supplied by branches:
1 Thought that the Membership number should be used as the reference when paying/renewing membership dues not invoice number.
Meeting was advised that membership database was under review and a new database would most likely be operational in time for 2019/2020 membership financial year billing. Branch needs must also be met of  course.
2 Regional operational matter – DoC to be asked to advise permit holders of land owners’ names on every permit to enable more ready contact with private land owners for seeking access (Tahakopa Valley example cited, this area straddles to Land districts, Southland and Otago, complicating work of Otago and Invercargill DoC offices. Another was the Wisp area, where landowner permission was needed before accessing). It was recognised that land owners must be advised of who is crossing their land, not only manners but under HSW Act 2015. It was mentioned that the HSW Act 2015 didn’t apply to sport and recreation, when applied to a sports person crossing a farmers land for access to PCL land. Therefore the HSW excuse the farmer used to prevent this would be invalid.

OSPRI consultation document – not all had seen this and submissions are due by the 30th September – Ian to forward the document to all branches invited to the regional meeting
Distinction between OSPRI and DoC pest control operations clarified for some branches – one for bovine TB control, the other for Battle for our Birds respectively. Bait loading noted at 0.15%, the 0.08% option no longer available.

Paid Executive Officer – what is happening? Everyone present was in agreement that the Association needs a paid Executive Officer. Some thought that if this can be done within the current budget, then Natex should proceed without further consultation. Others thought that the frame work of the role and expected outcomes should be discussed by branches and approved by branches before Natex proceed.
If an increase in capitation is required to fund an Executive Officer then it was suggested that the frame work of the role, expected outcomes and budget required for the role should be provided to branches and discussed at regional meetings then at branches, prior to a vote being taken at conference 5 Tahr control – Research over the past two years has highlighted that there are 35K ± 9K animals known on conservation land, another 20K possible on private land. The 1993 Tahr Management Plan target of 10K noted, this figure is total for all PCL and private land. DoC unhappy but driven by Minister.
Need to offer ‘5 for 1’, that is kill five females for every bull taken. This is game animal management.
NZDA can assist by undertaking control operations with its membership. Key aspects of these will be they are Search And Destroys, so no bulls to be taken. While S&D maybe distasteful to some it is acknowledged that the number of Tahr at present is excessive and since NZDA advocate for “Game animal management” we need to step up and practice what we preach. All other accepted conservation practices set by Doc
will be observed. Tahr range is thought to have increased. Interest was also shown by the meeting for assisting with herd reduction shoots, Ian Owen to investigate and inform branches of any further developments.

Farmer Assist – uptake by farmers beyond Canterbury was at this stage limited, but growing interest was expected. Those that are interested are urged to look at the Farm Assist website and if any specific  questions, contact Ian Brabbs (N Canty Br Pres).

Review of GAC – this was briefly discussed – Ian is to send out the letter by Nicol  McKee and the email from the Chair of the GAC, both to serve as guides for submitters from branches in supporting the retention of GAC.

Mt Cook National Park Plan – DOC have proposed that the two privately owned Lodges, South Canterbury branches Tahr Lodge and the Canterbury Mountaineering clubs Win Erwin Lodge, be moved from their current location which was a big concern to the SC Branch and the CMC.
There was also a suggestion of a park and ride scheme where visitors to the NP would park at Birch Hill and catch a bus into the NP. This could be a prelude to such a measure being introduced to all other National
Parks, so strenuous opposition was thought to be the guiding principle of submissions. The South Canterbury Branch in conjunction with the CMC would form a submission and relay that to Natex, this would then be corresponded to branches so everyone’s submission will contain the same information in support of South Canterbury Branch.
The draft Mt Cook NP plan would be released and available on the DOC website on the 8th September 2018.

National public liability insurance cover – this was clarified as NOT being available for Associate members of NZDA.

It was noted that the ZIP operation in the Perth River Valley had been postponed.

Sean Rudman online survey – explanation given for not supporting it.

Hunting & Wildlife – the possibility of hardcopies becoming available at cost to members, estimated at an extra $50 p.a. (approximately) was outlined. Limited interest of these was noted. It was explained that this would only happen if the new membership program supports the necessary requirements without additional costs or office time.

The meeting was reminded of the NZDA stance in its opposition to the use of toxins and poisons as outlined in the National rules

WARO – Ian sent out information on meetings, shared information and sent copies of draft submissions to help branches with their submissions – Did all branches put in a submission? – most present did. Why did some branches not put in a submission – some don’t know how to do a submission. If a branch doesn’t put in a submission it could be construed by DOC that they support what DOC is trying to do.
All branches and individuals that put in a submission should send them to Ian – these will be stored and made available to all branches as templates for further submissions.

Tenure review – You can be put on the LINZ mailing list by going to there website and registering. It was mentioned you really need to be involved before this so branches should be talking to DOC to get involved earlier.

Next meeting: 16 MARCH 2019 venue to be advised

Closure: Approx 1600

Further Action Required
1. Ian to send out H&S form to be used for branch Hunts etc
2. Ian to send out OSPRI consultation document
3. Send out Nicole’s letter & Don Hammonds email to branches
4. Find out Ian Brabbs contact details and communicate this to branches.
5. Check with Natex about having the Natex contact details put on the National
website. – Issue has been raised with Natex.
6. Send information on Tahr management plan and guidelines. This will be done
once final guidelines and information is known
7. Ian to forward a link to the draft Mt Cook NP plan when available. Link sent
with Regional meeting notes