The Foundation was formed in 1993 and is an Incorporated Society with charitable tax status.
There is currently about 200 members from throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
The Foundation has a close working relationship with the Department of Conservation and is
the lead organisation with the Wapiti Area Management Team. The Foundation manages a
stoat control line in the Worsley Valley in conjunction with the Department of Conservation
with approximately 30 km of trap line, and to date over 100 stoats have been caught in the 2
years of operation. A number of sponsors are involved including Southern Lakes Helicopters
providing helicopter flying time for servicing the trap line.
The Crown Herd is owned by the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and is currently being farmed in
the Te Anau Basin on a share farming contract. The herd comprises of 35 cows and 8 mixed
Brief history of the herd.
Decision made to capture 200 Wapiti from the Wapiti area, upgrade with Canadian blood
lines and relocate to another area for recreational hunting. No suitable area available so herd
farmed by Lands and Survey and later by Landcorp Farming.
Denis Marshal as Minister of Conservation announced the Crown Herd would be sold by
public auction. Safari Club International, New Zealand Deerstalkers Ass. and Fiordland Wapiti
Foundation met with the Minister and herd was transferred to a new company being Fiordland
Wapiti (Recreational Hunting) Ltd. Company shareholding being the above 3 organisation’s.
The herd was farmed for velvet production and during the collapse of the Asian economy in
1998, most of the herd had to be sold off for FW(RH)Ltd to remain solvent.
In 1999 the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation purchased the Crown Herd from Fiordland Wapiti (Recreational
Hunting) Ltd at market value. SCI made a substantial donation to the Foundation for this
Procedures put in place to wind Fiordland Wapiti (Recreational Hunting) Ltd Company
up and funds on hand were distributed to the New Zealand Wildlife Trust.
Profits from the herd are used for the betterment of recreational hunting of Wapiti within the
Fiordland National Park Management Plan.
This plan came up for renewal in 2002 with the original draft having Wapiti written out of the
script as a recreational hunting resource. A meeting was arranged through the Department of
Conservation to met with the Minister of Conservation the Hon. Chris Carter. There was very
open and frank discussion and the outcome was a challenge from the Minister to those present
to prepare a submission on the Management Plan to be considered along with all other
submissions. This was duly completed by a team that represented all recreational hunting
The submission focuses on managing the effects of deer within the Wapiti area
and to achieve the desired outcomes, recommends that a Wapiti Area Management Team
(WAMT) be established with representation from Department of Conservation and all stake
holders with the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation as the lead organisation.
At this point in time, the Management Plan is with New Zealand Conservation Authority for
their approval prior to it being forwarded to the Minister of Conservation for his signature.
Managing the effects of deer within the Wapiti area.
An interim WAMT is now functioning and working closely with the Department.
Time Line of achievements to date.
Survey conducted of hunters who previously participated in bugle hunts to
gauge how they felt about contributing to controlling red deer within the Wapiti area. The
results of this survey clearly demonstrates that hunters are prepared to contribute to the
management of their sport. The level of the donations has been set at the average respondents
indication of $20.00 per applicant for the bugle ballot and $100.00 per successful block holder.
A very large percentage of hunters make their donations.
New Zealand Wildlife Trust carry out a survey on "Economic and Social
Impacts of Wapiti hunting on Te Anau economy"
"Fiordland Wapiti Trust" established for the purpose of receipting funds received for
managing the effects of deer within the Wapiti area.
July 2005. Participate in discussions with South Westland and Te Anau based commercial
helicopter venison operators when they were in the process of re establishing the feral venison
industry. An agreement was reached amongst the group that only 1 helicopter company would
have an interest in the commercial recovery of venison from the Wapiti area and this would be
Southern Lakes Helicopters.
Minister of Conservation the Hon. Chris Carter invited to visit the Wapiti area.
The cost of this visit which involved a helicopter flight was picked up by the Fiordland Wapiti
Wild Animal Control Plan for the Wapiti area developed which allowed for cull
and leave operations along with commercial venison recovery.
Contract let to Southern Lakes Helicopters for up to 20hrs flying time to carry
out cull and leave operations. (Funded from donations made by hunters participating in the
January 26th 2006
First cull and leave operation.
May 30th 2006 Last cull and leave operation. 27.7 hrs flown. 382 red deer shot (13.79
animals per hr.)
Recommendation made to Department of Conservation to extend the Wild
Animal Control Plan for the Wapiti Area of Fiordland National Plan for a further 12 months
through to June 30th 2007 Recommendation also made to the Department of Conservation to
invoke Clause 32 of the WARO Concession License withdrawing the Wapiti area from all
commercial venison recovery to ensure that WAMT could achieve the objectives and outputs
identified in the Wild Animal Control Plan.
Southern Lakes Helicopters contract for cull and leave renewed for a further
Wild Animal Control Plan for the Wapiti Area extended for a further 12 months.
Clause 32 invoked. All WARO License holders advised the Wapiti area
withdrawn from br their License. All animal control including commercial venison recovery in
the Wapiti area carried out under the Wild Animal Control Plan.
First commercial venison recovery operation in the Wapiti area.
First cull and leave operation
January 16th 2007
Last commercial venison recovery operation. 226 deer recovered. 20 red
deer shot and not recovered during commercial venison recovery operations.
January 20th 2007
Last cull and leave operation. 21.6 hrs flown. 240 red deer shot (11.11
animals per hr.) The management team wish to thank all hunters present here
today that have made their donations towards controlling red
deer and poor quality Wapiti within the Wapiti area.
2007 to 2009
We have continued to recover animal from the Wapiti area. With the current export market there has not been a need to do a cull operation in the Wapiti area for two seasons all animals that can be recovered are recovered for export and the future of this is in the hands of the venison export market.
For a live update on animals removed from the Wapiti area, please see Home page.