The Game Animal Council Act 2013 provides for Herds of Special Interest to be designated by the Minister and the Game Animal Council.

All the Minister’s powers regarding management of herds of special interest may be delegated to the Game Animal Council, except for the powers to capture, convey, or liberate animals that are part of a herd of special interest.

Supporting the Minister to designate herds of special interest is a key goal of the GAC. Screening criteria has previously been published on the GAC website. As a joint project, the GAC has been working with DOC and contractors on a Herds of Special Interest management plan template to inform hunters on how the process will work. Hunters have indicated a number of herds that could potentially be designated and these include: Fiordland Wapiti, Central North Island Sika and Tahr in the Southern Alps.