Category Archives: Tourism

The mystery of Tekapo’s disappearing lupins: Who killed the social media star?

They’ve destroyed the iconic lupins at NZ’s Lake Tekapo! (stuff article below) And there’s a lot of passing the buck going on with it. The sprayers of environmental poisons tend to do this, hiding under the radar while spraying with impunity, saying little if anything to the public, as appears to be the case here. Apart from this they appear to have killed the tourism. Agenda 21 has made great biodiversity promises (apart from a lot of other things) and yet as I continually note, the results don’t add up.

Remember the roadside harakeke (flax) that got sprayed to death by local council? Equally as ugly as the lupin ‘cemetery’.

Roadside flax in Orepuki, Sth Is NZ, along a popular tourist route, sprayed with herbicide by local council

Very sad on both counts, in my opinion, and in the case of lupins, the destruction of such an iconic spot. The lupins destroy the waterways apparently … from the same people who can now pepper 1080 into waterways with impunity. In the flax debacle it was sprayed in wet weather allowing it into waterways, against the manufacturer’s instructions.

Post update: an observer commenting at Fb says: “Same at the Bealy Bridge at Arthurs Pass…” by DoC apparently?

On topic, see our glyphosate & 1080 pages for more info on the hidden environmental dangers of these widely used poison ‘treatments’.(see other waterways related posts here). EWR
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stuff.co.nz

by Brook Sabin

OPINION: It’s one of New Zealand’s most iconic shots: Lake Tekapo, the mountains and a bright glow of purple. You probably know what purple I’m talking about. Yes, the “L” word – “lupins”.

Mackenzie Country is known around the world for its lupins; before Covid-19 Lake Tekapo would often have traffic jams around lupin hotspots.

READ MORE:
* New pull-over areas part of upgrade to State highways in Mackenzie
* Should a money-shot of Tekapo lupins have won an international competition?
* Department of Conservation says lupins should be controlled, not farmed

The Department of Conservation says the weed has spread to riverbeds, where it poses a risk to native ecosystems. And DOC has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on pest control.

On the other hand, it is cheap publicity. There are literally hundreds of thousands of pictures on Instagram that have provided, over the years, countless dollars worth of publicity. Lupin season in Tekapo (before the borders were closed) is big money.

All this brings me to my visit to Tekapo last week. My mouth literally dropped open when I passed the “purple peninsula” that juts out into Lake Tekapo. A year ago, almost to the day, I was here among hundreds, who were eagerly filling their camera rolls with purple weeds. But today, it was bare. Not a lupin or tourist in sight.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/300187364/the-mystery-of-tekapos-disappearing-lupins-who-killed-the-social-media-star?fbclid=IwAR0uykJk5XvR1LQ1sHPGzzlNJc4ZxCj-3tAHISsYVR28-K-AZyYcfJchex4

Photos: stuff.co.nz

Petition: Save Golden Bay’s Te Waikoropupū Springs from a proposal to take more water for dairy farming – please consider signing

Save Te Waikoropupū : Tasman District Councillors

Campaign created by
Save Our Springs

We call on the Tasman District Councillors to ban taking any more water from Te Waikoropupū springs for industrial dairying.

Why is this important?

Te Waikoropupū (Pupū) springs in Golden bay has some of the clearest waters ever measured on earth.

And right now they are under threat from an extreme proposal to take water from the rivers that feed the springs and use it to water grass for more dairy cows. More cows would mean more pollution in these pristine springs.

If accepted the proposal would allow the springs to lose at least 20% of their world renowned clarity. It would also allow the level of nitrate pollution go above what National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has recommended is the safe upper limit. (1)(2)

The springs are of immense cultural, ecological and spiritual importance to New
Zealanders and are also visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year. They are Wahi Tapu (sacred place) for local iwi.

But in the coming months, Tasman District Councillors could accept this drastic proposal from a group called FLAG – the Takaka Freshwater Land and Advisory Group. This would be a disaster for the springs, for New Zealanders and for the local economy that depends on tourism.

Our international reputation and one of our cherished places of unique natural beauty destroyed forever.

These councillors have a choice to make. They can either protect the springs, or they can choose more dairy cows.

We the undersigned call on them to protect and safeguard this national and international treasure for current and future generations.

(1)http://www.tasman.govt.nz/document/serve/Summary%20of%20Takaka%20FLAG%20process%20and%20interim%20decisions%20-16%20Dec%202016%20v41.pdf?path=/EDMS/Public/Other/Environment/Water/WaterManagement/000000709026.
(2)http://www.tasman.govt.nz/document/serve/RM130269_HearingDocument6_FriendsGB1.pdf?path=/EDMS/Public/Other/Property/ResourceConsents/NotifiedResourceConsentApplications/Gunsboro/RM130269_Gunsboro_HearingDocuments/000000442707.

How it will be delivered

In person to the council 5th April

SIGN PETITION AT THIS LINK:
https://www.toko.org.nz/petitions/save-te-waikoropupu-springs-tasman-district-council

Why is it illegal to clear 1080 baits off the tracks? – a tramper is warned after picking up 22 POISONOUS baits

Police warn tramper for retrieving 1080

BY HAYLEY GALE
Nelson Mail

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A Takaka tramper who thought she was doing a public service by picking up 1080 poison pellets on the Heaphy Track nine days after an aerial drop of the toxin, has been issued with a warning by police and the Department of Conservation for carrying out an illegal activity.

Showing councillors the wet blue-green poison baits in a plastic bag during the public forum of a Tasman District Council meeting in Takaka yesterday, Hera Livingston said she had been “disgusted” to find 60 of the poison baits within the first four hours of walking the track from Brown Hut, in Golden Bay.

Asking the council to call a halt to aerial 1080 poisoning operations in the district, Ms Livingston said: “This is a health and safety issue. I spoke to a couple of French tourists on the track and they had no idea what the stuff was.”

Ms Livingston said she picked up 22 pellets but then stopped when she continued to find more.

She said she had not seen a warning sign at the beginning of the walk, although there were signs further up the track.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/2925428/Police-warn-tramper-for-retrieving-1080

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Observers at the 1080 drop near Lake Wanaka recently observed many baits on the tracks, with many tourists present that day. Carol Sawyer who was there that day described the following:

By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track. SOURCE

Another observer said the bright coloured baits would have looked to a three year old, like a lolly scramble. How safe is this people?

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Please educate yourself on the truth about 1080. There are links at our 1080 pages at the main menu (under Chemicals). You can find other 1080 articles and posts by using the categories drop down box. 

EnvirowatchRangitikei

Tributaries that flow into the Blue Pools & Lake Wanaka poisoned with 1080 – no signs out & horrified tourists oblivious to risks of swimming & ingesting the water

POISONING THE TOURISTS

By Carol Sawyer  23 February 2017

We did a great job of poisoning the tourists yesterday. The NZ Department of Conservation and HeliOtago are to be commended! ( Don’t get upset – I am being ironic)

At Makarora, Mt Aspiring National Park, an area of unsurpassed beauty on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, yesterday, 23 February, 2017, HeliOtago dropped 76 tonnes of one of the world’s deadliest poisons, Compound 1080, in a DoC “Battle for Our Birds” operation. 1080 has no antidote.

The Blue Pools Walk is a short walk accessed from the main highway, State Highway 6, and is extraordinarily popular with tourists who want a break and a cool bush-walk after driving over the Haast Pass from South Westland. They also often want a swim on a hot day, and I am told tour-bus drivers encourage them to swim and to jump off the bridge at the Blue Pools. Link: https://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/explore/blue-pools-track

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Loading zone for the 1080 operation on the (23rd Feb 2017)  Makarora, Mt Aspiring, National Park, NZ. HeliOtago is the helicopter contractor    Photo: Carol Sawyer

The loadout zone at Cameron Flat is seven minutes up the road from the little village of Makarora.

“Yesterday morning the river directly above the Blue Pools was poisoned, along with the rest of the area – Makarora, Wilkin, Young, Blue Valleys, and all the streams that flow into the Makarora River and also end up in Lake Wanaka.”

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1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms

By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track.

“1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals.”
Dr Meriel Watts

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Helicopter run directly over the edge of the bush and the Makarora River, Sth Island NZ Photo : Peter Hartley

A Makarora local, who was on the track at the time they were dropping the 1080 poison yesterday morning, told me the helicopter that went over his head zig-zagged above the Blue Pools, dropping 1080 poison, and the baits went into the water directly above the Blue Pools. The chopper also went along the edge of the Makarora River, along the bushline, dropping 1080 baits so they were flung out into the Makarora River too. None of the streams had designated buffer zones and so they were poisoned directly, BUT the Wilkin, Young and Makarora Rivers were supposed to have buffer zones. Therefore at least one, the designated bait-free zone around the Makarora River, was poisoned, even if unintentionally.

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The carpark at the Blue Pools walk, Makarora, NZ, 23 Feb 2017 where the 1080 drop occurred … tourists undeterred. Bait was clearly visible with minimal effort to make it safe. To a child it would have looked like a lolly scramble it was said.  Photo: Carol Sawyer

I spent most of yesterday afternoon at the entrance to the Blue Pools track. So did Shane Wilson and his father Ron. There was a constant stream of tourists. As they went in and as they came out we asked them if they knew about 1080 poison, and when the inevitable “No” was the reply, we handed them an explanatory ( and completely factual, and non-emotive ) flier, and then answered their many questions.

They were stunned – seriously ! There were no signs saying the poison had been dropped that morning. They didn’t understand that it was an aerial drop. They didn’t know what all the helicopters were doing.( There were seven helicopters swinging buckets and it sounded at times like I imagine the Vietnam War must have sounded ). They asked me : Is there a fire ? Are they mining ? Are they building something in the forest ?

One man, in appalled disbelief, came up to me and asked if he could show me film he had taken of a helicopter ” so close to people !” He had a young child on his shoulders. The helicopter was a speck on a ridge and THAT shocked him ? Those choppers had been swinging out so much closer to people than he had witnessed !

One young Swedish man was extremely distressed. He had swum in the water and was very upset when he found out about the poison. I said “Look you will be fine. You swam in it. You didn’t drink it”. Then he said he had been drinking it !

So had his girlfriend – from the Czech Republic.

I spoke to Indians, Brazilians, French, Germans, Scandinavians, Czechs, Danes, Dutch, most of whom understood English, or at least one of their number did and translated for the others, English, Americans, Australians, Canadians. ( Not, however, the Chinese. Malaysians, etc – I tried to talk to them but most didn’t speak English and went away as happily oblivious to poison as when they arrived !)

It was quite a business explaining why the government was dropping 1080 poison and why it was totally unnecessary but – when you tell people we drop 90% of the world’s supply and that it is killing EVERYTHING, not just the species they want to eradicate, and that stoats are not interested in 1080 baits ( when speaking to tourists ‘weasel’ seems to be an understood word, but ‘stoats’ not – so if you say ‘an animal like a weasel’, they mostly understand ), and that it is banned in many parts of the world, and that it is poisoning our land and we can no longer eat our wild food and that we have been dropping it for over 60 years and that we have had rats for 700 years and stoats for 150 and, and, and…..

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Shane Wilson‘s ‘1080 drum’ with a roadkill possum doe that he came across en route, on top – beautiful fur, freshly killed, and undamaged – a drawcard for curious tourists. I couldn’t stop stroking her. She was all warm in the sun. She had a lucky escape ! She wouldn’t have known a thing, not like the poor possies dying in Makarora in agony right now ! Photo: Carol Sawyer

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Shane Wilson’s Dad, Ron ( they had driven four hours from Otautau to be there, setting off at 1.30 am ), and Ray Thompson, ( who had driven for three hours from from Whataroa ). Some anti-1080 people show total passion and dedication.  Photo: Carol Sawyer

What surprised me was the intense interest. I was watchful for glazed-over eyes and polite departures but no… the questions poured in and so many people said ” What can we do to help ?!!” An Englishman, who sounded a bit like Prince Charles, was looking at the loadout zone and he said to me ” I hate this sort of thing ! ”

When I was asked how they could help, I said to people: “Take photos of those helicopters. Explain to your friends on social media. Write letters to major NZ newspapers, stating your shock and upset and disbelief at seeing what is happening in a land you regarded as clean and green and 100% pure. Don’t write to the NZ government – the letter will end up in the bin. A letter to a newspaper, from an international visitor”, I said, “is worth more than 100 letters from New Zealanders”

So many said ” But we thought you were clean, green… “

I told them about the film “Poisoning Paradise”. I told them to look it up on Google. I said it had won four international film festival awards and it has not been allowed to be shown on National TV in NZ.

I told them to go to the websites and Facebook pages on the flier I gave them.

I know some of them will – they were truly SHOCKED !

What is the matter with you, Maggie Barry and the Dept of Conservation? How dare you drop 1080 poison in our rivers and not tell tourists NOT to drink the water – only one hour later !!!!!!! NO signs, NO staff, NO care !

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 “Animal Control Products” ( recently given the more obscure name “Orillion” ), the NZ state-owned factory, has a 1080 warning label which states ” Avoid pollution of any water supply with pellets” and states that the pellets are harmful to aquatic organisms.

PHOTOS by Carol Sawyer & Peter Hartley

SOURCE