Usually it is the nanny state wasting your money

In this case, it was the nanny goats wasting the Auckland ratepayers’ money?? all $91,000 of it. Stuff reports that the “feral goats are climbing higher to avoid professional hunters in the Hunua Ranges.”

Well, there’s the problem right there. The hunters are not climbing high enough! (Just kidding.) Quote.

Auckland Council is forking out the big bucks to hunt down feral goats ? but the goats themselves aren’t having a baa of it.

Zero goats were killed in south Auckland’s Hunua Ranges during the 2016/2017 financial year, despite the council spending $91,742 on the hunt.

West Auckland hunter Paul Cheetham said he would go into the ranges and shoot the pests for free.

“I think hunters would be willing to to hunt anywhere, given the opportunity,” he said.

“If I could hunt in the Hunua Ranges, I would probably go every weekend and I would take my kids.”

The council has spent $401,658 on feral goat management in the Hunua Ranges over the last five years, according to figures released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

Just 244 goats were culled during that period, meaning each goat cost an average of $1646 to kill. […]

A council spokeswoman, who released the information under the LGOIMA request, said the project to eliminate feral goats in the Hunua parkland had been successful.

“However, feral goats can re-establish a large population from a few remnant individuals.

“This is why it is important to continue intensive surveillance for a couple of years to eliminate any remaining animals that could lead to a resurgence of the population.”

Council rules governing the Hunua Ranges prohibit amateur hunters from hunting goats in the area. Pig hunting was allowed by permit.

Hunting was not allowed in the Wait?kere Ranges in West Auckland.

?”The reality is, I have to drive hours to do any hunting on public land ? Taup? is probably the closest,” Cheetham said.

Cheetham has been hunting for 30 years and believed amateur hunters would be as safe as the professionals.

“Everyone gets given the same firearms licence, whether you are a professional hunter or not,” he said.

“Obviously, if it’s council land there may be some concerns but I would be keen to do a day course if it meant I could go into the local areas and hunt.”

Cheetham said he wouldn’t break the law but hoped Auckland hunters would eventually be given the green light to hunt closer to home.

“I won’t go in there because I love hunting so much that I don’t want to risk losing my firearms licence but if I could, I would be all over it.” […] End of quote.

Seems like an easy win for the council. Offer some permits to responsible weekend hunters and let them at it. If they wish to patrol the Hunuas for free then it is a win-win.