Better wildlife habitat goal for new officer

Improving wildlife habitat and working closely with Far North iwi, community and hunters are the positive goals Northland Fish & Game’s newly-appointed Field Officer is ready to tackle.

The new officer is local man John Macpherson who will be based in Kaitaia.  John has been a farm manager in the region and an Animal Control officer for the Far North District Council.

He is a keen game bird hunter, a member of the Far North Sport Shooting Club and a warranted firearms instructor for Mountain Safety. 

John is affiliated to NgāiTakoto and on the board of the NgāiTakoto Fisheries Trust.

Fish & Game Northland Manager Rudi Hoetjes is delighted with John’s appointment and says he has wasted no time getting to grips with the demands of his new role.

“John has already begun meeting iwi, local people, forestry companies and Crown agencies. His aim is to improve wetlands, habitat and breeding programmes, as well as looking after access, pest control and maintaining and improving our hunting heritage,” says Mr Hoetjes.

Some of John’s focus will be on properties which have in the past few years been returned to iwi as part of Treaty Settlements on the Aupouri Peninsula, Mr Hoetjes says.

“Fish & Game hopes to see some of these wetlands restored to their natural state so they can once again become a habitat for all wildlife.”

John’s background includes working as a farm manager for several years within the Far North area, a role that included weed and pest control, spraying, fencing, fertiliser spreading and managing staff.

“It is this practical hands on knowledge and established relationships which Fish & Game wants to build on to provide advice and management options to help control game birds causing damage to crops and pasture.

“In the long term this will hopefully lead to improved opportunities for hunter access.”

Rudi Hoetjes says John Macpherson’s experience and knowledge gained from his work as an Animal Control Officer will assist him in his compliance role with Fish & Game. 

The new Field Officer is working from the Department of Conservation building at 25 Mathews Ave in Kaitaia, which gives Fish & Game an opportunity to work alongside Department of Conservation staff on common projects and also with local iwi.

“We encourage locals, hunters and anglers in particular to go and meet John.  Everyone should feel free to drop into the office for a chat so John can learn of any current concerns or issues.”