Tag Archives: harakeke

“Twenty years of 1080 in the Haast Valley has killed our kea population”

By PAMELA ADAMS   SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2018

WHERE HAVE ALL THE KEA GONE?

“On the night of the 30th November [the day of the last 1080 drop] a single kea was heard screaming in the trees behind the township. After that the five kea in Haast township were never seen again. Two years later there are still no kea in Haast Township … twenty years of Compound 1080 in the Haast Valley has killed our kea population … and on the 15th November 2018 the Department of Conservation plan to aerially drop Compound 1080 poison again on Haast……”

 

The photo above is the saddest thing I have seen in years – taken today – a flax bush in full flower and not a single kea to be seen.

 

Back in November 2010 the flax bushes in Haast township were filled with the noise and antics of kea fighting over the sweet nectar. One evening I saw seven kea in one bush. The next photo was taken on the 10th November 2010……..

 

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Kea in flax bushes in Haast township

By April 2016 we had five kea permanently living in the town – this photo below was taken on the 12th April 2016………..

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Kea sitting on the roof of the Police Station in Haast township 12th April 2016

But on the 30th November 2016 the Department of Conservation as part of their Battle for our Birds campaign aerial spread Compound 1080 near Haast township (True Left Haast drop zone)……..

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1080 signs (Cron Creek) State Highway 6, 1st December 2016

 

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1080 sign on farm just south of Haast township (State Highway 6th) 30th November 2016
On the night of the 30th November a single kea was heard screaming in the trees behind the township. After that the five kea in Haast township were never seen again. Two years later there are still no kea in Haast Township ………..

So the flax bush flowers and there is nothing to eat its sweet nectar. Compound 1080 does not increase native bird numbers………… Sixty years of Compound 1080 has not saved New Zealand wildlife…….. twenty years of Compound 1080 in the Haast Valley has killed our kea population………..

 

And on the 15th November 2018 the Department of Conservation plan to aerially drop Compound 1080 poison again on Haast……

 

Why? There is nothing left to kill.

The great Southland flax massacre

Photo: John Hawkins Stuff

Thanks to a reader this came to my attention. It had slipped under my radar. I’ve followed the spraying carry on that all of our councils do, fixated on tidy roadsides they spray everything to the hilt, hence the yellow ditches all along the way when you travel. I think they look untidier than long grass quite frankly but spray they must it seems. Small wonder most of our populations now test positive for glyphosate in their bloodstreams. What was sprayed in Southland here in the article was metsulfuron methyl.  Spraying everything with chemical poisonous herbicides is standard practice in NZ even though there are non toxic alternatives. You can read up on glyphosate on our Glyphosate pages. The properties of the chemical used in Southland is referred to in the article. To read more PANANZ is a good site.

Anyway it appears in Southland the roadside harakeke (flax) bushes got sprayed, now they’re a ‘nice’ yellow colour instead of green. Southlanders got up in arms and good on them. Have a read about the Southland massacre:

 

Southlanders protest the great flax massacre

stuff.co.nz
31 Oct 2017

It’s been described as the great flax massacre, and dozens of Southlanders have packed into the Orepuki Tavern to protest against it.

Members of the public filled the tavern for a public meeting on Tuesday, opposed to the long stretches of the Southern Scenic Route which are now lined with browning dead flax bushes.

Attendees expressed concerns about the aesthetic impact on the Southern Scenic Route and tourism, the possibility of the herbicidal spray entering the public water supply, and dangers to animal life and biodiversity.

Resident Louise O’Callaghan said she understood the need to keep drainage channels clear but was concerned about the amount of chemicals being used to kill flax, after driving past the spraying vehicle in April.

“I was flabbergasted, my friend and I stopped, did a U-turn and drove back,” she said.

“The time spent on one flax bush was just incredible, as was the volume of spray.”

She was also worried about chemicals escaping into the water supply, saying manufacturers of herbicidal treatments with metsulfuron methyl warn that it is very toxic to aquatic organisms and to soil.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/98411648/southlanders-protest-the-great-flax-massacre

 

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says NZ Transport Agency to act on whacked flax

 

stuff.co.nz
13 Nov 2017

Southern scenic route motorists will once again be able to enjoy the green, green grass of home after the NZ Transport Agency agreed to clean up the aftermath of the great flax massacre.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said he had received confirmation that the transport agency would be removing dead flax between Riverton and Clifden.

He was pleased with the decision, saying “It’s been an emotive issue in the community, so this is a great result”.

“I’m thrilled the NZTA has come to the party and agreed to remove the majority of dead flax in their area of responsibility.”

Walker was also pleased the agency would work with local iwi to protect flax on the Southern Scenic Route, saying “The Southern Scenic Route is our shopfront window for tourists”.

“Flax is not a weed, it’s an important part of the cultural and economic history of our country.”

Flax bushes past the Clifden suspension bridge were the responsibility of the Southland District Council.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/98754674/cluthasouthland-mp-hamish-walker-says-nz-transport-agency-to-act-on-whacked-flax

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