Thousands of New Zealanders have hunted in the past and continue to hunt today. New Zealanders like to think of themselves as a nation of 'can-do' people. The national legend is popularised by physically capable, self-reliant men and women. That legend used to be based on pioneers and farmers and has now come to encompass our identity as outdoor adventurers and conservationists. Hunters belong in this national story as well. Hunting was essential to successful colonisation. It touched the core need to eat and the human desire to share meals. It served as a form of community building, of family cohesion, it involved inter-generational knowledge being handed down. Cutting across racial and cultural differences, hunting tells us more about different groups and their perspectives on the natural world. Hunting makes explicit a range of attitudes towards nature and assumptions about how it works as well as having been essential to the development of scientific knowledge about the natural world. It has also been the significant way that New Zealanders have experienced, closely observed and understood the bush. Hunting ties New Zealand to the world, yet the particular shape of hunting here makes it remarkably distinctive. If there is a 'national culture' in New Zealand, then hunting and hunters are at its core.