Aerially-assisted trophy hunting (heli-hunting)
What is aerially-assisted trophy hunting (AATH)?
Aerially-assisted trophy hunting (AATH) – also known as heli-hunting – involves flying recreational hunters and their guides into high country areas by helicopter in search of trophy animals.
The name aerially-assisted trophy hunting is in line with the New Zealand Conservation Authority's preference to distinguish it from other forms of hunting assisted by helicopters, e.g. live deer capture and wild animal carcass recovery.
The animals most frequently hunted are introduced Himalayan tahr and Austrian chamois.
Commercial AATH on land other than public conservation land is already an established industry, with clients paying a trophy fee of around $5,000 per animal.
The following report provides an overview of aerially assisted trophy hunting (AATH) operations on public conservation land in 2012. It summarises information collected from activity returns, hunting logs, and Department of Conservation staff.
2012 location maps
These are large files and may take some time to download.
2012 AATH trophy kill locations
2012 AATH cull locations
Decision on long-term applications (excluding wilderness areas)
Decision on the wilderness area concession applications
A legal challenge in April 2012 by six aerially-assisted trophy hunting (AATH) operators over the decision on their permits has resulted in the roll-over of their 2011 permits for wilderness areas. This arrangement will be in place until the High Court can consider their claim, which questions the impartiality of the Hon Peter Dunne as decision-maker. This challenge means that these permit holders were able to start operating in the Olivine, Hooker/Landsborough and Adams wilderness areas on 1 June 2012.
Other AATH operators, not part of the legal challenge, are bound by the Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne's 13 June decision for their wilderness area permits.
2011 season information
See the 2011 season section for the 2011 Operational Report, information about permits, maps showing approved areas, and a summary of the 13 September 2011 public meeting to discuss 2011 heli-hunting operations.
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