William (Bill) O’Leary

William (Bill) O’Leary

Born in Hamilton but raised in Greymouth with early exposure to fishing and white baiting. Completed my secondary schooling in Christchurch and a MA at Canterbury University. By this stage I was heavily into duck shooting and hunting in Reefton, the Lewis and South Westland.

Trained as a secondary school teacher and taught in Marlborough and Nelson with a growing involvement in outdoor education which included delivering young hunter courses within the school curriculum and in association with New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) and Fish and Game.

In 1999 I joined the National Executive of NZDA (til 2002) with the HUNTS portfolio and the task of delivering a training pathway and qualification for instructors. This entailed collaboration with Mountain Safety Council, NZ Police, Fish and Game New Zealand and with Whitireia Community Polytechnic. Contact with the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) resulted in useful information from hunter education programs in other parts of the world. I have held the office of HUNTS National Coordinator from 2000 to 2015. Another appointment was as a NZDA Range Certifying Officer. In 2007 I was awarded a National Life Membership. I have just finished a term as councillor on the new Game Animal Council having served on the Establishment committee since 2008.  Currently I represent NZDA on the National Recreation Forum and DOC’s Visitor Safety Reference Group and am a member of the Molesworth Management Advisory Committee.

In my spare time I have supported Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game as a Councillor and as an honorary ranger. I am still an active hunter and involved with NZDA’s Nelson branch as a committee member having served eight years as branch president.

In 2012 I was elected back on to the National Executive of NZDA as the National Vice President and in 2014 as the National President.

I am a firm believer that the NZDA’s future demands forward looking policies, collaboration with other groups and building relationships where ever possible.

I am a firm believer that the NZDA’s policy is determined at Conference with leadership and sound governance expected of National Executive.