Date: 18 September 2012
Oamaru Hut in the Kaimanawa Forest Park is going to be spruced up and cleaned by the Taupō branch of the New Zealand Deer Stalkers Association, in return for some days in the hills stalking sika.
The Deer Stalkers have developed a working relationship with the Department of Conservation where the club offered to assist with regular service checks and maintenance of Oamaru Hut, after previously assisting the department with painting and the upgrade of three other backcountry huts.
Peter Spriggs, Curly Elmiger, Allan Dodson and Murray Cleaver on a working bee at Oamaru Hut The working relationship is win-win to both parties. The Department of Conservation is providing transport, access and materials, and the hunters can extend their stay outside the service period.
Deer Stalker Allan Dodson says ”It’s a positive relationship where we can help keep the huts in good working order and get out and do some hunting”. Murray Cleaver, Department of Conservation Taupo field supervisor explains that having the Deer Stalkers help on a coal drop last week, freed up two Department of Conservation staff members to clear windfall on the Kaipo track.
This relationship is a good example of the Department of Conservation working with community groups to help protect New Zealand’s conservation and recreational assets.