In a bid to encourage Kiwis to take up fishing and hunting, Fish & Game New Zealand unveiled their new public awareness initiative.
Launched on 7 November 2023 in Christchurch, the Rewild campaign aims to showcase the many benefits of fishing and hunting, including environmental stewardship and conservation, food-gathering, and improving mental health and wellbeing.
Corina Jordan, Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive, emphasised the goal of the campaign: “We created the Rewild campaign to share our passion with New Zealanders and encourage them to get out in nature and enjoy the benefits nature and wild spaces provide. We want Kiwis to ‘rewild’ themselves by connecting with the natural world and all the benefits it offers.
She added, “Fishing and hunting are great for physical and mental wellbeing; you can’t focus on problems when you are focussed on a trout at the end of your line. Fishing and hunting are also great ways to connect with whānau and friends, to teach children skills, instil a desire to protect the environment and help them learn independence.”
Dame Lynda Topp, a lifelong enthusiast of angling and hunting, expressed her support for the campaign and encouraged Kiwis to rewild themselves.
“All Kiwis should have a chance to get out and connect with nature and have the chance to come together with whānau and friends to shake off their worries, have some fun, catch some kai and connect with what it means to be part of Aotearoa.”
The Rewild campaign will feature stories, social media content, billboards, and advertising across the country and will include events and resources to support people wanting to have a go at fishing and hunting.
“We know New Zealanders love our natural environment and care about protecting it. We want that knowledge to be based on experience, on getting out into the wild and putting the routine of daily life aside for a time,” said Jordan.
“Women are also increasingly getting out and having a go, and my experience is that it’s liberating. It’s time to yourself, but it also means you can bring back something delicious and healthy for dinner.
“Fishing and hunting are ways of being part of nature and its cycle. So, part of our focus is ensuring our wild places stay wild. And more than that, we must ensure that the life that survives there thrives there.
Last year approximately 120,000 people purchased fishing and hunting licences from Fish & Game.
“Fish & Game’s journey has always been about protecting, restoring and rewilding Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural freshwater habitats and species. And that means safeguarding indigenous species and the management of valued introduced ones for the benefit of people and whenua,” said Jordan.
“By building our affinity for the wild, we can all participate in the tikanga or practice of protecting the incredible things that make our country so special.”
For more information, visit rewild.fishandgame.org.nz.