The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) has released a new duck hunting video campaign called "Let bad habits die, not your mates".

The video has been released in lead up to the opening weekend of duck shooting season to highlight hunter safety.

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley said the primary focus heading into this much-anticipated season was to continue to see a downward trend in firearms-related incidents.

Watch the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council's video below:

"In 2016 we identified a peak in firearms incidents with 22 occurring during that season alone. This peak was the culmination of a three-year increasing trend and led us in 2017 to implement a targeted video safety campaign known as 'Early Bird'" said Daisley in a statement.

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"Off the back of that campaign we've seen incidents drop for two consecutive years. We want to keep that momentum going and continue to engage hunters with important safety messaging in relevant ways which is why we committed to another video campaign in 2020."

In the early hours of Saturday 23 May, thousands of New Zealanders will head out before dawn to their maimai. For some it will be as close as their own farm, for others the pilgrimage will take them home to regions across the country.

This year opening weekend was more symbolic than usual, as duck shooters had a restless wait through lockdown and alert level 3 to finally hear the good news that the season was going ahead.

Listen to Rowena Duncum interview Mike Daisley on The Country Early Edition below:

As well as focussing on firearm storage and handling, this particular campaign video challenged some of the old-school attitudes hunters can have towards operating a firearm, said Daisley.

"The call to action this year 'Let bad habits die, not your mates' is designed to stimulate the thought process, we want duck shooters to be thinking about their habits, their actions in the maimai, and how they alone have the safety of others in their hands".

Find out more at mountainsafety.org.nz.

A special longer version director's cut is also available here.