Richard Moore:Hunters a bigger threat than Taliban

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It seems to this city boy that there is only one thing as dangerous as the Taleban - and that's Kiwi hunters.

Swap the black turban for a woollen cap, the flowing cotton outfits for a Swanndri, and it would be damned hard to tell them apart when it comes to endangering New Zealand lives.

In Afghanistan, 10 NZ soldiers have been killed in the line of duty by the fanatics.

Within these shores, there have been 12 fatal hunting shootings in the past decade - three this year.

And of those dozen deaths, 10 of the victims were shot by people in the same hunting party.

Fair go, do these guys have a brain?

The most recent tragedy was the death of James Dodds, who was fatally wounded last week in remote bush in the Waikite Valley, 30km south of Rotorua.

He was shot by a mate.

The basic rule in hunting is not to shoot before you positively identify your target as a deer or whatever other living creature you are wanting to shoot.

I'm fed up with hearing about the distress of the guy who shot the person dead. I'm more concerned about the person with the hole in them and their families and loved ones.

When Cam McDonald was shot in the head in a Wairarapa forest at Easter he was wearing a fluoro hat on his head, as was shown in a picture taken three hours before the incident. The deer can't see bright orange - but hunters should. And I have yet to see many sika or other beasties in fluoro gear. Mind you, with colour-blind hunters they would be just as safe wearing them.

Seems to me there needs to be a crackdown on handing out hunting permits.

When McDonald was killed, there were 1000 permits issued over Easter in the Aorangi Range. Now, to me, that's scary. I wouldn't want to be anywhere within cooey of 1000 of these blokes carrying guns.

As one would expect, the Deer Stalkers' Association says tightening the rules won't stop all fatalities - and I reckon that says a lot about the trigger-happy cowboys who, if not blowing away mates, are shooting teachers brushing their teeth at campsites - as happened to Rose Ives, near Turangi.

Association president Tim McCarthy says it comes back to the one thing - identify your target. "If everybody did that then we wouldn't have a scenario like what we are talking about here."

Too true, but if you are wearing a fluoro hat and still get identified as a deer by an experienced hunter, what does that say about the intelligence level of gunmen?


***

It is good to see Prime Minister John Key hobnobbing with the leaders of Apec - and he's even had a one-to-one with Russian political tsar Vladimir Putin.

The new budskis have organised a meeting next year and Key reckons that could be signing the former-commos into a free-trade deal.

My initial thoughts were that's good for trade, and then I pondered a second longer.

Putin is backing the genocidal regime of Syria's Bashar al-Assad, who is killing tens of thousands of his own people with his military and air force.

New Zealand shouldn't want a bar of association with that, particularly after its high-handed attitude towards Fiji.

In Fiji, political strong man Frank Bainimarama is trying to turn around a chieftain-led system into one where all Fijians - Indian or native - can vote and have an equal share in the process.

But then I guess there's more money to be made cosying up to bullies and killers, rather than help a friendly country ease its way back to a truly democratic system of government.

JUST in case anyone doubts that some teenagers are truly, incredibly moronic entities how about this ...

A number of teens were injured when a VW Golf carrying nine of them, including one in the boot, swerved and lost control before crashing on an Auckland motorway at the weekend.

What else needs to be said?

NOW Brendan Horan, MP for NZ First, I am on my knee in abject apology for having listed you as an Act MP last week.

I have no idea what caused my brain explosion, other than it left its orbit momentarily for a bit of a journey to circle Planet Nong.

Please rescind the fatwah and I'll buy you a cup of tea at some stage in the near future at a cafe of your choosing.

We'll invite the media.

richard@richardmoore.com

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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