The Game Animal Council is required by Government to be self-funding apart from an annual contribution of $50,000 from Vote Conservation.
The Game Animal Council Act provides a limited number of funding sources for the Council, all of which will require the making of regulations to bring into force. They are:
- • fees for hunting any animal that is part of a herd of special interest
- • game trophy export levies
- • administrative fees
Game Trophy Export Levy
The immediate focus of the Council is to do what is required to setup the export levy. The Council is exploring other sources of funding for the future from a much wider group of stakeholders, including from the recreational hunting sector. However, for the initial period the Council will depend on the export levy as its primary source of revenue.
The Council will need to raise sufficient export levy revenue to be financially sustainable and allow it to establish the other revenue streams. The Council intends to review the export levy arrangements and therefore the levy rate may be adjusted in the future to take into account other revenue streams.
What is the Game Trophy Export Levy?
Section 22 of the Game Animal Council Act provides that:
A person must not export a game trophy from New Zealand that is a souvenir of an animal hunted and killed in New Zealand on or after the day this Act comes into force unless the person pays to the Council the game trophy export levy prescribed (if any) in respect of that trophy.
The Act defines a game trophy as being a whole or part of a carcass of the following animals:
- • any chamois, deer, or tahr
- • any pig that is living in a wild state (ie not farmed, herded or living within a fenced area).
The Act excludes velvet, velvet antlers or the hide of a deer as being a game trophy.
The export levy regulations may:
- • impose different rates of levies for different classes of game trophies
- • exempt payment to a particular country or countries, and
- • must be consistent with international obligations.
Setting up the Game Trophy Export levy
The Council and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are working together to establish the export levy. The primary objective is to enable the Council to operate on a financially sustainable footing.
The many steps to work through include fully understanding the potential impacts of the levy on people who may be required to pay and also the wider hunting sector.
- The aim is to have the export levy in place as soon as possible, with the export levy operational as close to the middle of 2017 as possible.
Section 35 of the Game Animal Council Act 2013 sets out a number of steps that must be undertaken before the Minister is able to make recommendations to establish an export levy. One of these steps is publishing a document to seek the public’s views about the export levy. This will allow decision-makers to better understand:
- • the workability of the proposed export levy
- • the likely impact of the proposed levy on affected people, goods and industries.
Consultation is planned to begin on 1 December 2016 at the earliest and close at the end of January 2017.