Category Archives: Conservation

DoC admits their 1080 rat control operation only lasts 3-6 months … ANNUAL poisoning now for Heaphy Vlly & Coast

From Carol Sawyer
1 Nov 2018

DoC ADMITS RAT CONTROL ONLY WORKS FOR 3 – 6 MONTHS !!
HEAPHY VALLEY AND COAST – TO HAVE ANNUAL AERIAL 1080 POISONING

I have been sent this letter with the comment “Look at this Carol, this is the first time I have seen DOC admit that the poison only holds back numbers of rodents for 3-6 months!”

It is indeed the first time they have admitted that! DoC say in their letter :

“The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.”

Look at the attached graph… only five months after the 1080 drop, the rat numbers had become HIGHER than they were at the time of the drop and were continuing to climb.

The 20,667 ha area extends over the western end of the Heaphy track, and the drop will take place between October and December, 2018.

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“7 September, 2018

Dear……

This letter is to let you know abut changes to pest control work happening in the Heaphy Valley and along the Heaphy Coast in the coming year.

The Department is moving to trial an annual rodent control program starting from this year in this area due to consistently high numbers of rats outside operation times. These high numbers are impacting the bird and bat populations in the area and threatening other vulnerable native species.

The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.

The pest control will be closely monitored to ensure it is obtaining the outcomes needed to protect species.

Over the coming months, we will be conducting a consultation process with landowners, the local community and other interested parties.

A fact sheet containing further information on the pest control in the Heaphy Valley and coast is attached.The map shows the indicative boundaries of the operation.

DoC will be contracting a local pest control operator to carry out the work and notifications will be sent out closer to the time of the operation.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of what is proposed then please do not hesitate to contact me at the address below by September 30th, 2018.

Kind regards,

Jess Curtis
Senior Ranger – Bathurst Project
Dept of Conservation”


 

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“NZ’s Predator Free 2050 program .. not .. well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice” say two conservation academics

NZ’s very controversial Predator Free 2050 program is driven by “international agreements and a global agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world”.

A paper published by Professor Wayne Linklater and Dr Jamie Steer (July 2018) in Conservation Letters: A Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology  (cited at the Wiley Online Library*) concludes that the Government’s Predator Free 2050 program “has not been well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice. It also misdirects attention” they say “from more fundamental and direct threats to biodiversity protection and recovery”.

Associate Professor Wayne Linklater from Victoria University’s School of Biological Sciences, considered by many to be the “founder of modern pest management in New Zealand” was recently awarded the 2018 Peter Nelson Memorial Trophy by New Zealand’s Biosecurity Institute in recognition of his research in pest management.

Dr Jamie Steer is a  Senior Biodiversity Advisor for Greater Wellington Regional Council. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science from the University of Auckland, a Master of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He is a former member of the Ecological Society of New Zealand and a current Associate of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies.

I’m sure you will agree that these two academics are well qualified to be commenting on NZ’s Predator Free agenda. DoC have purportedly discussed with them the concerns outlined in their research paper, however DoC is undeterred. Bear in mind they are tasked with selling to the public a global agenda signed up to historically to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species, plant and animal.

You can read the research paper at the link:

Predator Free 2050: A flawed conservation policy displaces higher priorities and better, evidence‐based alternatives

Abstract

New Zealand’s policy to exterminate five introduced predators by 2050 is well‐meant but warrants critique and comparison against alternatives. The goal is unachievable with current or near‐future technologies and resources. Its effects on ecosystems and 26 other mammalian predators and herbivores will be complex. Some negative outcomes are likely. Predators are not always and everywhere the largest impact on biodiversity. Lower intensity predator suppression, habitat protection and restoration, and prey refugia will sometimes better support threatened biodiversity.

READ THE ENTIRE PAPER AT THE SOURCE:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12593


 

*”Conservation Letters is a scientific journal publishing empirical and theoretical research with significant implications for the conservation of biological diversity. The journal welcomes submissions across the biological and social sciences – especially interdisciplinary submissions – that advance pragmatic conservation goals as well as scientific understanding”.  SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is really driving Pest Free NZ (PFNZ) – what you aren’t being told

An excellent article here that throws much needed light on the 1080 poison issue. So here it is in plain sight. Agenda 21, kicked off at the Earth Summit in 1992. If the prevention of biodiversity loss caused by alien species was so above board why are they not selling it to the general public in its original terms? And as I keep repeating, if this UN document were truly about their so called sustainable practices we should by now be seeing some results. Instead we see unprecedented pollution, environmental destruction, poverty, inequality, homelessness & debt. And aside from all of that, what is sustainable about poisoning the entire environment? What is sustainable about poison, period? Oh, that’s right, certain corporate profits.


By J James at infonews.co.nz

What is driving the Pest Free NZ Agenda and the hysteria in eradicating non native species.  Answer – International agreements and a global  agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world.

Its wise to know that when you stand up to protest DOC for the tortuous deaths it is perpetrating on innocent animals,  that you are confronting not just DOC or the current minister or politician but a host of unelected bureaucrats who manage all the various global agreements NZ has signed up to.  These bureaucrats ensure that things run smoothly. The minister and the politicians are an interface between us and them.  John Key called these global organisations the clubs 

There is much more to this story that you can research yourself but the core thing here is that NZ is part of a much bigger extremist idea under the guise of protecting biodiversity – or purism as I call it –  where everything and anything non native and not productive to  human use will be destroyed.

While you browse through these sites you will read a language that appears benign and even needed, yet the practical application and act of killing so many innocent species unlucky to find themselves in another country is horrendous to contemplate and makes me wonder about the sanity of this human race.

Nature abhors a vacuum and will do anything to balance her eco system and can usually do it – its called adaption its called evolution.  When ‘man’ decides to play god then unintended consequences abound and we are all put at risk.  That we now stand at the edge of this psychopathic agenda of death, we must pause for a moment and consider how industry with the approval of governments have deforested the planet to feed its voracious appetite for money for economic growth at all costs .  There has been a huge cost – industry enabled by  governments have destroyed so much of the world’s natural habitat that species extinction has become so obvious.  The shock of this has forced the agenda of biodiversity loss using eradication of non native species as a means to address it.

Here in NZ it is seen most noticeably in the dropping of poison out of helicopters into pristine ecosystems, rendering them silent.
When New Zealand announced its Predator Free NZ vision it wasn’t as if suddenly someone in the Department of Conservation woke up with a great idea – it was a directive NZ had to follow as part of being a member of the United Nations.  They never mention this.

There is a global agenda to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species – animals and plants – non productive species that is – cows and sheep bulls and horses and domestic pigs will stay because they are part of industry and form the back bone of many economies.  But the rest that are not needed will be eradicated.

This is the global agenda and it’s time we knew where this kill kill mentality actually came from.

New Zealand is a member of the IUCN which stands for International Union for Conservation of  Nature – on the international stage NZ is part of the Oceania group  run by the Department of Conservation. Its government agencies are:

The IUCN was founded in 1948. Taken from their website it says this:

”….located near Geneva, Switzerland. The Union brings together 86 states, 120 government agencies, 825 national and 92 international non-governmental organisations, 34 affiliate organisations and through its Commissions about 11,000 experts and scientists from more than 160 countries around the world…”

IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The Union has three components: its member organisations, its six scientific commissions, and its professional secretariat.

IUCN is the only environmental organisation to have official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

NGOs connected to this in NZ are:

They all aim for ecological integrity (purity, my word).

All over the world the word has gone out that all creatures great and small that are not indigenous to that land will be terminated.  It’s not just New Zealand

IUCN GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS CAUSED BY ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES 

”….. Biological diversity faces many threats throughout the world. One of the major threats to native biological diversity is now acknowledged by scientists and governments to be biological invasions caused by alien invasive species.  The impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging  to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats…”

its goals and objectives are …. sound familiar?

”……to prevent further losses of biological diversity due to the deleterious effects of alien invasive species. The intention is to assist governments and management agencies to give effect to Article 8 (h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which states that: “Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate: …(h) Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species….”

Then there is the CBD which is Convention on Biodiversity and is a legally binding multilateral treaty from the UN of which NZ is a member.  It has three main goals:

“…The conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. The Convention was opened for signatures at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted…”

or said another way

Protecting Biodiversity.

“….The current decline in biodiversity is largely the result of human activity and represents a serious threat to human development. Despite mounting efforts over the past 20 years, the loss of the world’s biological diversity, mainly from habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals, has continued. Biological resources constitute a capital asset with great potential for yielding sustainable benefits.

Urgent and decisive action is needed to conserve and maintain genes, species and ecosystems, with a view to the sustainable management and use of biological resources…”

Another part of this is the Invasive Species Specialty group 

Their mission statement says:
“….The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species, and of ways to prevent, control or eradicate them….”

When you hear the DoC and the minister for the Environment talk of eradicating species this is what they are talking about .  This is what they are instructed to do as a member state of the UN.

Here in NZ we are watching the eradication of  wild game – food that many rely on to feed their families –  hunting is as kiwi as rugby – but a wild food industry is being slowly eradicated under the guise of PFNZ .

NZ has no wild mammals as such,  all wild game including trout existing here now is non native and earmarked for eradication, despite them being brought in over 100 years ago.  The various NZ bodies of these organisations do not come out directly and say this of course,  instead they are doing it by stealth, and the best tool in the box for this eradication appears to be the deadly Sodium fluoroacetate commonly referred to as 1080.

SOURCE

https://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?l=1&t=0&id=117063

The blue macaw parrot that inspired “Rio” is now officially extinct in the wild

In the animated film “Rio,” a Spix’s Macaw named Blu flies all the way from Minnesota to Rio de Janeiro because he’s the last living male of his species and that’s where Jewel, the last living female, lives. Blu and Jewel ultimately fall in love, have a baby and the movie ends happily – with the hope that the literal lovebirds can save their species. In the real world, however, Blu would’ve been too late.

A new study by BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations that strive to conserve bird species around the world, reveals that in recent years several bird species have lost their fight for survival. And sadly, one of those species is the beautiful Spix’s Macaw. The species is now considered extinct in the wild, although some of the birds survive in breeding programs.

While the vast majority of bird extinctions in recent centuries have occurred on isolated islands, five of the eight highlighted by this study occurred in South America – four in Brazil alone – a tragic statement on the impact of deforestation in that part of the world.

READ MORE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/blue-spixs-macaw-parrot-that-inspired-rio-is-extinct-in-wild/

One in eight bird species threatened with extinction, global study finds (note, NZ’s Kea also under threat)

NOTE: Our own Kea in NZ are nearing extinction…

With a long history of poisoning Kea, DoC is set to finish off what remains – Dr Jo Pollard


From the Guardian

Here, a “Report on the state of the world’s birds reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by intensive farming, with once-common species such as puffins and snowy owls now at risk.”

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The once-widespread Atlantic puffin is now listed as vulnerable on the red list of threatened species. Photo: Pixabay

One in eight bird species are threatened with global extinction, and once widespread creatures such as the puffin, snowy owl and turtle dove are plummeting towards oblivion, according to the definitive study of global bird populations.

The State of the World’s Birds, a five-year compendium of population data from the best-studied group of animals on the planet, reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by the expansion and intensification of agriculture.

In all, 74% of 1,469 globally threatened birds are affected primarily by farming. Logging, invasive species and hunting are the other main threats.

“Each time we undertake this assessment we see slightly more species at risk of extinction – the situation is deteriorating and the trends are intensifying,” said Tris Allinson, senior global science officer for BirdLife International, which produced the report. “The species at risk of extinction were once on mountaintops or remote islands, such as the pink pigeon in Mauritius. Now we’re seeing once widespread and familiar species – European turtle doves, Atlantic puffins and kittiwakes – under threat of global extinction.”

READ MORE

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/23/one-in-eight-birds-is-threatened-with-extinction-global-study-finds

 

Southland District Council has told a correspondent that the recent helicopter tour of Fiordland by 30 odd international bankers & DoC was ‘philanthropic’ … and nary a whisper from mainstream media?

Philanthropic? The marrying of that term and the banking industry in my opinion is somewhat of an oxymoron. Think about that…

“philanthropist” … a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

A reader who, after recently hearing of the 6-helicopter tour of Fiordland by 30 bankers including the heads of Hong Kong Goldman Sachs and the Dept of Conservation, wrote to the Mayor of Southland District Council to get some clarification of its purpose. It is further confirmed that the group was indeed The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the reply is intriguing. One would have to ask, why wasn’t this headline news? An important visit by no less than thirty international bankers purveying their chosen area of shall we say ‘investment’ and not a squeak about it in mainstream media? Curious indeed.

Here is the letter sent and the response recently received (name of correspondent withheld as requested):

Dear Mr Tong,

I have been informed that:

“Six Squirrel helicopters were chartered from Alpine Helicopters, Wanaka. They only have five Squirrels so one was chartered in by them.

Apparently, Director-General of Conservation Lou Sanson, and presumably other DoC” people, “took a pile of international bankers on a Tiki Tour. I am told the Hong Kong-based head of Goldman Sachs was one of them.

They went to Fiordland – landing in the Murchison Mountains, (Takahe), Chalky Island (Kakapo) in Chalky Inlet, and Resolution Island in Dusky Sound.”

I wonder if you were aware of this trip because it seems to be in your area?

Perhaps there is an innocent explanation why 30 international bankers would land on Resolution Island, Chalky Island and on the Murchisons.

I have emailed the Member for Southland-Clutha for his view on the same matter.

I look forward to your early response from yourself or from the Councilor for the ward concerned.

Best regards

(name provided)

 

And he responded:

Good morning  xxxxxxx

Thank you for your email.

I am aware of the charter that was undertaken by a group from an international conservancy board.  I find it heartening that this group of people, ones that are involved in international conservation efforts at their own cost, actually get out and about to see what their money is helping to do.

I have been to all of the areas you have mentioned and I have seen the work the Department of Conservation is doing.  On one occasion I had the pleasure of releasing 2 (of 10) Takahe into the Murchison’s, a day I will always remember.

Some of this work would not be possible without the monetary efforts from a group such as you have described, so I do believe there is an innocent explanation.

As Mayor I am proud of those efforts and encourage others to do the same.  I don’t believe this was a “pile of international bankers on a tiki tour”.  I understand that it was a controlled and coordinated charter where the philanthropists gained a knowledge and understanding by seeing Fiordland up close.

I don’t believe there is anything else I can say on the matter,  but thank you for your enquiry.

Yours in Southland

Gary Tong
Mayor
Southland District Council
PO Box 903
Invercargill  9840


Feedback about The Nature Conservancy group

We have also had feedback about The Nature Conservancy group from another reader who lived in an area that was taken over by TNC. The comment is quoted below with permission, names also withheld as requested:

“…you are right about the Nature Conservancy. They bought up a large swathe of land on my former home, the island of Molokai, Hawaii. I knew a local gal there, young and strong, who quit working for them. Why? First, they fenced off the land. Then they brought in sharp shooters from airplanes to “eliminate” the”non-native species” — goats and pigs.

I overheard waterway workers complain that the dead carcasses were rotting right in there the aqueduct that goes through tunnels from that side of the island to the population on the other side — as drinking and ag water. Then they sought to eliminate the “non-native” flora. That’s why she quit. They had her spraying toxic herbicides all day long, and she was afraid of becoming sterile! Also, when they purchase a piece of land, they rope it off for “conservation” and people are not allowed to go there and enjoy the beauty any more.”

 

A big thank you to our two informants.

Photo: Resolution Island, Fiordland NZ, Wikipedia

Coromandel conservation group is calling for a halt to regional funding of toxin use on private land for wild animal control

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PRESS RELEASE:

A Coromandel conservation group is calling for a halt to regional funding of toxin use on private land for wild animal control.

The Upper Coromandel Landcare Assocation (UCLA) is asking Waikato Regional Council to suspend any further cash grants to “community” groups for placement of toxin 1080 and anticoagulant rat poisons on private properties on the peninsula.

UCLA cited a $41,000 grant to the Moehau Environment Group, a local contractor to WRC, for placement this summer of the poisons in bait stations on hundreds of hectares in Port Charles in an operation opposed by many landowners in the small community. In addition to concerns over secondary poisoning of protected native species and inhumane controls generally, local residents have objected to extreme danger from toxic animal carcasses on neighbouring properties, as well as poisons entering the food chain.

A recent memorandum from the Department of Conservation confirmed that 1080 resides in the environment and food chain after placement. The toxin has been implicated in the near-fatal poisoning of three Waikato residents after they ate wild pork.

According to UCLA spokesperson Reihana Robinson, there are safe, affordable, and acceptable alternatives to use of residual toxins, including trapping and hunting. “The $41,000 MEG grant, much of which covered 1080 poisoning on the property of the group’s own coordinator and her neighbour, is a dangerous, irresponsible, and wasteful use of regional rates dollars.”

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“Locals cannot walk dogs safely along the main road, children cannot safely explore up the Tangiaro Valley, families can not harvest nutritional wild food, and unsuspecting landowners may wind up with hazardous toxins on their own properties,” Robinson said. “And as for our tourism-based economy, visitors are being greeted with kilometres of skull-and-crossbone warning signs instead of the pristine bush they expected.”

“We are not talking conservation estate or protection of crown land. This is public funding of dangerous poisons on private properties within metres of property lines and roads, with toxins potentially migrating onto other people’s land.”

UCLA notes that hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars are being directed by the regional council this term to so-called “community groups” for possum, rat, and mustelid control with little or no accountability and without wider community support.

“It’s easy for council staff to farm out control work with a few big cheques to a few eco-contractors,” Robinson said. “But unfortunately, it is harmful not only to the environment, but to ratepayers and residents, and to regional council’s own relations with the wider community.”

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Singer Song-writer releases anti-1080 song “Poison Rain”

‘Poison Rain’ calls for an end to 1080 poison and other rodenticides in New Zealand, poison that is banned in many countries. The song asks for a better solution to be found, one that does not involve tons of poison continually tipped on New Zealand’s native forests.

From naturalmedicine.net.nz
by Katherine Smith

Singer-Songwriter Aly Cook as she releases a newly commissioned song ‘Poison Rain’. (Electronic Acoustic Adult Contemporary) The song has been “self penned” and co produced with Jay Pheye in his little Golden Bay Studio and mastered by Benny Tones. ‘Poison Rain’ is now available for pre-sale on Itunes with the official release being on Friday 9th of Feb.

The song may be purchased from the links below.

All proceeds from the sale of ‘Poison Rain’ will go back into paid promotion of the TV Wild video and the song to the public and to continue the lobby to the NZ Government TO BAN the USE of 1080 and similar aerial dropped poisons. :

POISON RAIN ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/id1342088626

OR

Key2Store ​http://www.key2artistpromotions.com.au/store

‘Poison Rain’ calls for an end to 1080 poison and other rodenticides in New Zealand, poison that is banned in many countries. The song asks for a better solution to be found, one that does not involve tons of poison continually tipped on New Zealand’s native forests.

The song now has its own Facebok page where you can see the music video: https://www.facebook.com/stopthedropnz/videos/287934298401454/

To learn more about eh issue of 1080, one option is to watch the film Poisoning Paradisehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQRuOj96CRs

Aly Cook became intent on looking into 1080 poison after a conversation she had with friends who​featured on a TV Wild Video​. New Zealand farmers were interviewed in the video who had all suffered stock losses from 1080 poison drops. These farmers had been instructed by various government departments to put their compensation payouts down to ‘track maintenance’ or ‘stock food’, after their animals had tested positive for 1080 poisoning. Other farmers were asked to sign confidentiality clauses. ​watch the video here

This conversation lead Aly to look more into safe ways to reduce the number of stoats, rats and possums in the NZ bush. If there was nothing to hide, the farmers would not have been instructed to lie on an invoice.The more Aly looked into it, the more oxymorons she found. DOC claims 1080 did not kill invertebrates… yet 1080 was developed as an insecticide.

Aly says … “There are lies everywhere covering up, for example, the recent ‘so called’ botulism case in which a family who had consumed wild pork were hospitalised due to life-threatening illness.

(Here is the interview with the actual family and excerpts from their medical notes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6i4pZ5RYI4&t=570s)

The hunter’s dog died the day the wild pork was collected . After eating the pork it made the family so violently ill that they were thrashing around and the hospital staff had to strap them into their beds for days”.

The family tested negative for botulism yet they were not tested for 1080 poisoning until 18 days later following a lawyer being engaged by the family. I urge kiwis to watch this documentary and also think about what this is doing to our clean and green image. We have to find a better solution to pest control than this”.

READ MORE

http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/news/singer-song-writer-releases-anti-1080-song-poison-rain/

Why is HDC allowing the felling of a protected Totara tree on a formerly Council-owned Foxton property, by the new owners Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua? (amended article)

The original article posted earlier stated that the tree was a Kauri … apologies, it is in fact a Totara, but still a protected species. This is the original with amendments.

The Totara in question is on a property now owned by Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua Housing. They are the new owners of Johnston Street community housing that was formerly Council owned. The tree to the right of the fence in the photo is to be cut back, that one is on Council property (Seaview Gardens). However the other tree to the left is to be felled. This native Totara is not currently listed as a ‘notable tree’, the only thing I understand that could prevent its being felled.  The by-laws apparently have recently changed in the Horowhenua preventing the species from being protected there. So how is this a forward move? Felling a protected native species? Have local iwi been consulted on this? Here we have the usual UN ‘sustainable’ spin that balances sustainable economies with sustainable environments … guess which one wins out, every time?

Copy of Jan 2018 015

It should in my opinion be cut back (for easier ongoing maintenance of the buildings if that is what is required) … but not felled. That is very backward thinking.

The following article reflects the direction Councils are taking in their professions of Treaty Partnership with regard to native trees. Their websites tend to pay lip service only to the Treaty. It is described in the article how the Auckland Council failed to support a rāhui placed on the Waitakere Forest to protect Kauri, another protected species.

“The council’s Environment and Community Committee chose to reject the rāhui request made byTe Kawarau-a-Maki, deciding instead to close only high-risk and medium-risk tracks.”

Read the article: Why aren’t people listening? Māori scientists on why rāhui are important

So it would appear the Horowhenua District Council is moving in a similar direction? With recent by-law changes the protected species is now set for the chop.

Note: I have requested of Council today (5th Feb) that the tree be made ‘notable’. They’ve referred my request to a ‘Strategic Planner’ to respond. Please consider requesting the same by sending an email to:

CustomerServices@horowhenua.govt.nz

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

Why is HDC allowing the felling of a protected Totara tree on a formerly Council-owned Foxton property, by the new owners Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua?

The Totara in question is on a property now owned by Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua Housing. They are the new owners of Johnston Street community housing that was formerly Council owned. The tree to the right of the fence in the photo is to be cut back, that one is on Council property (Seaview Gardens). However the other tree to the left is to be felled. This native Totara is not currently listed as a ‘notable tree’, the only thing I understand that could prevent its being felled.  The by-laws apparently have recently changed in the Horowhenua preventing the species from being protected there. So how is this a forward move? Felling a protected native species? Have local iwi been consulted on this?

Copy of Jan 2018 015

It should in my opinion be cut back (for easier ongoing maintenance of the buildings if that is what is required) … but not felled. That is very backward thinking.

The following article reflects the direction Councils are taking in their professions of Treaty Partnership with regard to native trees. Their websites tend to pay lip service only to the Treaty. It is described in the article how the Auckland Council failed to support a rāhui placed on the Waitakere Forest to protect Kauri, another protected species.

“The council’s Environment and Community Committee chose to reject the rāhui request made byTe Kawarau-a-Maki, deciding instead to close only high-risk and medium-risk tracks.”

Read the article: Why aren’t people listening? Māori scientists on why rāhui are important

 

So it would appear the Horowhenua District Council is moving in a similar direction? With recent by-law changes the protected species is now set for the chop.

Note: I have requested of Council today (5th Feb) that the tree be made ‘notable’. They’ve referred my request to a ‘Strategic Planner’ to respond. Please consider requesting the same by sending an email to:

CustomerServices@horowhenua.govt.nz

EnvirowatchHorowhenua