Kaumātua calls for more education around hunting following death

By Mere McLean

Local resident kaumātua and hunter, Tahae Doherty, is calling for more education when hunting in the Kaingaroa area.  This follows the death of 11-year-old Connor Brian Phillips during a hunting incident in Kaingaroa.

Doherty has lived and hunted in the Kaingaroa Forest for over 40 years.  He says hunters need to be more aware of the dangers when they go into the forest.

“The one who was shot in the forest was just a child.  This is one of those tragedies that can happen when people go into the forest,” said Doherty.

The incident happened yesterday afternoon in a remote area near Tiriti and Western Boundary roads.  Doherty says that more education is needed when hunting in the area.

He says, “The reason is that area where the pines are is man-made.  It's also been planted in lines which gives you clear view of the area.”

Police say an adult member of a hunting party was unloading a firearm at the end of the hunt when the incident occurred.  Doherty says his advice to hunters is to treat all firearms as loaded.

“When you head to the forest, don't just shoot randomly.  Wait until you can identify the animal clearly,” added Doherty.

Meanwhile, Police are continuing to investigate the hunting incident in Kaingaroa.