The NZ Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) has made incorrect and misleading claims on aerial possum control operations, claims OSPRI.
New Zealand Deerstalkers' Association national president Bill O'Leary says, "People who took part in the cull managed by the Department of Conservation were volunteers with every intention of removing pukeko predating on takahe nests.
"In the event four takahe were shot among more than 600 pukeko in what were clearly unintentional mistakes made by two members of the shooting party who failed to correctly identify their target.
"Positively identifying your target is a fundamental rule for hunters and all safety messaging hammers that.
"The association is distressed that in this instance the rule was broken."
He says the NZDA was satisfied that the investigation carried out by the department was professional and thorough and he does not believe that the relationship between the two organisations has suffered.
"The NZDA has worked with DOC a number of animal and bird management operations throughout New Zealand and expects that this will continue."