Category Archives: Fiordland

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

Advertisements

Since a 1080 drop in Fiordland’s Hollyford Valleys in late 2017 the rat population has INCREASED & native birds, deer & trout are in severe decline

From Carol Sawyer

HOLLYFORD AERIAL 1080 DROP, OCTOBER 2017 – DISASTROUS RESULTS !

(These results come from inside the Dept of Conservation itself, but I doubt that they would have seen the light of day if they were not exposed here! DoC need to understand that not all their employees agree with their poisoning ways.)

29595242_2082002325413416_3111398628441912115_n

This 1080 drop in the Lower and Upper Hollyford Valleys in Fiordland, 5-6 October, 2017 has been an unmitigated disaster! The area had never been 1080 poisoned before.

Read on….

 

RATS :

For many years, there has been a volunteer trapping programme in place around Gunn’s Camp on the Hollyford Road. Ninety-eight traps are set along approximately 20 kms of the Hollyford Road, back into the bush a bit, from Marian Corner to Humboldt Creek and for a couple of kilometres beyond the end of the road.

These traps are set approximately 200 metres apart, and they are cleared every three weeks, weather permitting. For years, these traps have averaged a total of 6 to 12 rats every three weeks, all up.

After the 1080 drop, the next couple of trap clearances yielded very little. This is what one would expect immediately after an aerial 1080 drop.

However, now things have changed and, five months on, the rat plague that is to be eventually expected after a 1080 drop, of triple and even quadruple previous rat numbers, (not that the Dept of Conservation will publicly admit to this), has started.

Three weeks ago the traps were cleared and contained 32 rats. Interestingly, some of the traps had two rats in them, which is apparently unusual.

Last weekend’s tally was 24 rats. That equates to 54 rats in a period of 6 weeks, whereas prior to the drop one could have expected, at the most, 12 to 24 rats to be caught in that time.

Rats have NEVER been caught here in these numbers before !

Add to this the fact that the rats being caught recently are all young rats, this means that a veritable rat plague is on its way, and by the time the anniversary of this virgin 1080 drop comes around this October, a rat plague is what people in the area will be witnessing !

BIRDS :

Gunn’s camp in the Hollyford was a Kaka haven. Twenty to forty Kaka were regularly seen there, and as many as fifty were counted on one relatively recent occasion.

Moreporks ( Ruru ) abounded. One Morepork used to sit behind a generator shed there, and when the generator was turned off every night it then became very vocal. It was a loved ‘character’ of this special place.

There has not been a Morepork or a Kaka seen or heard since the 1080 drop five months ago. ( The “generator” Morepork was also obviously killed by the poison. ) Fantail numbers have taken a major dive, as the insect population has, of course, decreased and consequently the fantails are short of food.

DEER:

A local helicopter company has had reports, recently, from hunters it transports into hunting areas that deer numbers are ‘low to non-existent’ since the drop.

TROUT:

It is reported that a big pond in the Hollyford River, above Gunn’s Camp, which always had trout, now has none.

FINANCIAL COST OF THIS DISASTER :

This would be very hard to ascertain. Even an OIA request won’t do it, or at least not in the least accurately.

( Take for example the aborted 1080 operation at Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, in 2015, where prefeed baits were dropped, but far too late in the year and winter set in so the poison part of the operation never went ahead. The 66 tonnes of poison had to be retrucked back to the North Island and buried in a landfill (it was rumoured to be in Marton). DoC Wanaka claimed the total cost of that farce was $187,000 but figures i spent a long time working on showed the true cost to be well in excess of $1 million – even before the relocation of 1080 back for burial in the North Island ).

HOWEVER, I was told by a very reliable source ( a local helicopter pilot ) that HeliOtago received $1.2 million for this 40,000 hectare aerial 1080 drop in the Hollyford Valley, Fiordland National Park, last October. That of course was only a fraction of the total cost.

Photos :
Gunn’s Camp – Photo Michael Venter
Kaka – Photo Birding NZ
Morepork ( Ruru ) and young – NZ Birds Online
Gunn’s Camp – Photo Forthloveoftravel
Fantail – Photo Birding NZ
Hollyford River at Gunn’s camp – Photo Earth Burners

SOURCE