New Zealanders are being urged to take a walk on the wild side in a new Fish & Game New Zealand public awareness campaign.
The Rewild campaign, launched in Christchurch by Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Corina Jordan and 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.
“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,” Jordan said.
“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.”
Jordan said fishing and hunting are great for physical and mental wellbeing, connecting with whānau and friends, teaching children skills and instilling a desire to protect the environment.
“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.”
She said Fish & Game has always been about protecting, restoring and rewilding NZ’s natural freshwater habitats and species.
“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.
“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.”