Wellington District Police and local Fish and Game New Zealand staff are warning duck shooters to â€˜think safetyâ€™ and make sure they are properly licenced before heading out to the wetlands for this weekendâ€™s start to the duckshooting season.
Police and local Fish and Game staff are joining forces in Operation Birdshot for a combined enforcement action, donning waders and using boats and vehicles to reach as many shooters as possible.
"Our main focus is the Wairarapa wetlands but shooters can expect to have contact with us anywhere and at anytime," says Mr Graham Nel, Wellington District firearms licencing coordinator.
"Safety and licence compliance are our priorities."
Police are reinforcing the seven basic Arms code rules:
• Treat every firearm as loaded
• Always point firearms in a safe direction
• Load a firearm only when ready to fire
• Identify your target
• Check your firing zone
• Store firearms and ammunition safely
• Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms.
Shooters are reminded that alcohol and firearms are a lethal mix. Firearms should not be left in unattended vehicles.
Police will check on the safe handling of firearms. They will also verify licence details and provide advice and information on the relicensing process. Fish and Game staff will check for hunting licences and enforce the non toxic shot regulations.
"If youâ€™re well prepared, have the correct licences and use your common sense then you wonâ€™t have anything to worry about," Mr Nel says. "Shooters who flout the law can expect to pay the consequence.
"We want shooters to safely enjoy their season â€“ for themselves and for others," he says. "If youâ€™re unsure about your licence, contact your local police firearms officer."
Wellington Police District Communications Manager
Tel; 04 496 3464 or 0274 373 020