The general election draws ever nearer. To those of you with an interest, I think it is fair to say that whatever the outcome we have lost an advocate in Peter Dunne. Ignoring party politics, I have heard Peter speak at several National Conferences and on each occasion I have been impressed by his knowledge of the NZDA, the outdoors, hunting and what it stands for. Peter’s dedication was best illustrated to me at the recent conference. Atrocious weather conditions made travelling to the conference extremely difficult and as a result, several key people were unable to get there, some having driven all the way from Auckland to Wellington only to find it impossible to cross the Cook Straight. Peter, however, somehow managed to get there and was able to deliver his presentation before having to immediately head off to another engagement. I feel we have lost an influential friend and wish him well.

Those of you who attended the range for the Debbie Harlow shoot on the 20th August will have noticed there has been some significant range maintenance activity since their previous visit. Following recommendations, we have raised the bank behind the butts by approximately two metres in height. This work was carried out without interruption to the range shooting schedule by carefully planning the work to coincide with a naturally quiet shooting period. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the contractor for a job very well done. As you will probably know, mid-August was a particularly wet period and as a result, the lower range areas became extremely boggy. The contractor somehow managed to access this area with heavy earth moving equipment, moving literally tons of earth over several days, without causing significant damage to the surrounding areas. A splendid effort.

Also due to the above-mentioned recommendations, it has been necessary to modify how we use the range. As an example, standing shots other than at 50m are no longer permitted. The full changes are detailed in the range officer’s morning safety briefing at the start of each shooting session and must be rigidly followed at all times.

There was only one shooting day last month. The Debbie Harlow competition which occurred on that day was reasonably well attended and general practice options also attracted a significant number of members and visitors for the day.

Sunday, 17th September is the only day the range is open for shooting this month. This will consist of the 100m Centre Fire Aggregate Competition No. 3 and general practice on benches and free lanes. The 25m range is booked from 12:30 pm onwards for a special training event, attendance is by Branch invitation only.

The members evening on Wednesday the 13th September will be a pot luck dinner, i.e. bring your own (ideally wild) food, either precooked or to be prepared in the clubroom on the night.

I am delighted to report we are now able to accept EFTPOS/Credit Card payments at the range. I for one, seldom carry significant cash on me, as is likely to be true for many of you too. This should mean an end to those embarrassing pocket patting moments when the need arises to make that unexpected purchase of targets, chamber flags or other sundry items.

I will hopefully see you at the range soon.


Peter Britnell