ROUTEBURN TRACK TRAVESTY – TRAMPERS NOT INFORMED !
By Carol Sawyer
An observer at the start of the Routeburn track said “he saw a couple getting packs out of their vehicle. He asked them if they realized 1080 poison was going to be dropped from the skies the very next day. They were shocked. They had just come from the DoC Office ( and presumably paid their hut fees), and no staff member had told them about the scheduled poisoning.”
Yesterday, September 27, 2017, HeliOtago dropped 1080 poison on the Routeburn and Dart Valleys, over the Routeburn Track. They operated out of Dan’s Paddock at Paradise. ( For ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans, this is where Gandalf the Grey rode into Isengard ).
Two of HeliOtago’s now infamous Rescue Helicopters were involved in dropping the poison – ZK-HJK ( white BK-117 ) and ZK-IME ( red BK-117 ).
Shane Wilson tells me he was at the carpark at the start of the Routeburn Track, at The Divide on the Milford Road, on September 26, the day before the 1080 drop. There were 14 or 15 empty vehicles at the carpark. Some would have belonged to daytrippers, and some to people doing the four day tramp.
He saw a couple getting packs out of their vehicle. He asked them if they were walking the Routeburn Track. They were. They were Brits. He asked them if they realized 1080 poison was going to be dropped from the skies the very next day. They were shocked. They had just come from the DoC Office ( and presumably paid their hut fees ), and no staff member had told them about the scheduled poisoning.
The information sent by the Dept of Conservation to Wild Animal Recovery Operations (WARO ) members on 25 September, 2017 states :
“All tracks in the Dart and Routeburn will be closed during the drop. Nearby tracks will also be shut including the Rock Burn and Beans Burn; these closures will be up to 24 hours. Overnight trampers already within the area will be held at huts by DOC staff until operations are complete. People planning to visit these areas are advised to check with a DOC visitor centre prior to their trip”
Well these people did visit a DoC Visitor Centre and were not informed. Also, what right have DoC staff to “HOLD” people at huts ?!!!
PS: Shane had a copy of the DoC letter to WARO operators on his phone, and read it to those British tourists, informing them that they would be ‘held’ at their hut the next day. He says they were stunned.
Please read our 1080 pages for further info on the NZ Government’s practice of regularly slathering NZ with 1080, a poison banned in most other countries. Find links there for other resources on 1080 compiled by Carol Sawyer (including coverage by the Graf Brothers, creators of the must watch doco ‘Poisoning Paradise).