Dame Lynda Topp is behind new Fish & Game campaign encouraging Kiwis to take up angling and hunting.
Fish & Game New Zealand has launched a public awareness campaign to hook New Zealanders on the experience of freshwater fishing and hunting.
The Rewild campaign, launched in Christchurch today by Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Corina Jordan, alongside keen angler and hunter Dame Lynda Topp, highlights the many benefits of fishing and hunting, including environmental stewardship and conservation, food-gathering and improving mental health and wellbeing.
The campaign, which will feature stories, social media content, billboards and advertising across the country, will include events and resources to support people wanting to have a go at fishing and hunting.
Last year approximately 120,000 people purchased fishing and hunting licences from Fish & Game.
“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,” says Jordan.
“We want Kiwis to ‘rewild’ themselves by connecting with the natural world and all the benefits it offers.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Dame Lynda Topp, an angler and hunter since childhood, is supporting the campaign and encouraging 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.”
Go to www.rewild.fishandgame.org.nz to find out more.