Tag Archives: kaitiaki

DoC is calling the kettle black don’t you think?

So according to this article from the News Room, Ngāi Tahu have been instrumental in the loss of habitat for the small brown Eyrewell beetle in NZ… and it would appear, DoC almost powerless to stop them? The little beetle, like many insects world wide, is becoming extinct (not that any manufacturers of the lucrative poisons slathered world wide over everything would care).

Whatever you may think about Ngāi Tahu or their part in the demise of this beetle DoC can hardly point fingers at them witness our increasingly silent forests in NZ. They are dropping tonnes of the insecticide 1080 all over our ecosystem like a veritable lolly scramble, with no long term studies to prove to us it is saving our birds as it claims. On top of all that they actually claim it targets pests (& does not kill non target creatures) when clearly by their own documented information & independent science, 1080 kills every living breathing organism period. The little beetle here also began its demise with the ongoing planting & felling of pine forests. So really it’s a bit rich all round to be pointing the finger at Ngāi Tahu. Aside from that, turn the clock back a century and a bit & you’ll find the ongoing cry was that Māori lands that were uncultivated or not farmed were ‘waste’ lands, a good reason why Māori shouldn’t own them. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

RELATED LINKS:
THE DECIMATION OF OUR NATIVE KEA – WE ARE WATCHING ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL TRAGEDIES TAKING PLACE!

“TWENTY YEARS OF 1080 IN THE HAAST VALLEY HAS KILLED OUR KEA POPULATION”

THE 1080 INSECTICIDE IS NOT KILLING 50% OF OUR INSECTS SAYS DOC – AND NO LONG TERM MONITORING IN SIGHT


From thenewsroom.co.nz

Search for Eyrewell Forest on Google Maps and you won’t find a forest. In fact, what you see looks similar to surrounding Canterbury farm land.

What was once a forest is now home to 14,000 dairy cows. Satellite photographs show a tell-tale pattern of circles where centre-pivot irrigators are busy creating grass where trees once stood.

The forest was home to a small, dark brown beetle commonly known as the Eyrewell ground beetle. Globally, only 10 have ever been found. All were found amongst trees in Eyrewell Forest, the last in 2005.

The beetles’ home was returned to Ngāi Tahu as part of a treaty settlement in 2000. Since then the 6700 hectares of plantation pines have steadily disappeared and dairy cows have taken over.

“The success and effectiveness of Ngāi Tahu Farming is connected to the health and wellbeing of the lands, waterways, plants and animals under our care which is central to our kaitiakitanga values.”

The march of chainsaws, shredders and pivot irrigators continued despite eight years of effort by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to convince Ngāi Tahu Farming to save some the beetles’ habitat in reserves.

In October 2018 Ngāi Tahu Farming told Stuff  the last of the forest would be removed for the intensive dairy conversion. Its CEO Andrew Priest said the organisation turns to Ngāi Tahu values guide their farming.

“The success and effectiveness of Ngāi Tahu Farming is connected to the health and wellbeing of the lands, waterways, plants and animals under our care which is central to our kaitiakitanga values.”

According to him 120 hectares of plantation pine has been retained. From aerial photographs it appears this has been done only in one area where beetles were possibly found. Other areas where beetles were found are treeless, one area has a small amount of scrub.

Priest said Lincoln University has been surveying the likely remaining spots of the beetle since 2013. No beetles have been found. He said search efforts will be abandoned in 2020.

The risk of extinction is so extreme one scientist, Eckehard Brockerhoff, who found five of the 10 collected beetles, is considered penning an obituary.

If he does, the obituary will be scant on detail of the beetle as so little is known about it. It’s a bit over 1cm long, nocturnal, and scientists think it lives for two years.

Wingless and described as a “moderate” runner it has managed to move from the kānuka it inhabited in the 1920s to the plantation pine which replaced it. It could even be called tenacious, as it also survived repeated rounds of removing and replacing areas of plantation pine as areas of forest were progressively logged and replanted.

Whether its tenacity could survive the dairy conversion is another matter according to Brockerhoff who spent thousands of trapping days attempting to find the beetle in the early 2000s. His efforts netted five beetles.

“It [the dairy conversion] involves felling all the trees, ripping out the root stock and then pretty much mulching the coarser woody material which is left behind into small chips. They took like a giant shredder over it. It was a very effective method of not only shredding any plant matter, but any invertebrates that are larger than a pinhead. I didn’t think the beetles would have stood much of a chance to survive in those converted areas.”

In the views of the scientists, setting aside a reserve of plantation pine where beetles were found in the 6700 ha property could have given the beetle a fighting chance.

Eyrewell Forest. Red dots show approximate locations where Eyrewell beetles were found by Brockerhoff. Yellow dots are probable locations of previously found beetles. Image: Google Maps

Failed talks

Brockerhoff sums up Ngāi Tahu Farming’s reception to the idea of establishing a reserve to save the beetles habitat as “a bit reluctant.”

Documents attained under the Official Information Act show repeated efforts were made by DOC between 2005 and 2013 to promote the creation of a reserve.

Emails exchanges started off cheerfully. A 2009 email from DOC to Ngāi Tahu’s rural manager reads: “Just been chatting to [redacted name] here at DOC re the possibility of setting up a reserve at Eyrewell – the same chat we had about two years ago I’m sure you recall!!!”

Once trees started to be cut down and with no formal agreement about the creation of a reserve the tone grew more urgent. In internal DOC emails frustration is clear.

“It’s fine for private landowners to develop their land, however it seems absurd for us a community to be allowing the unplanned clearance of much of the forest when this will knowingly cause the extinction of Holcaspis [Eyrewell ground beetle] …”

A plan by Ngāi Tahu Farming to reserve 150ha of pine forest was called “commendable”, however, the location of the reserve was not in the area where the beetle had been found. Restoration planting Ngāi Tahu Farming was planning to undertake was also not considered to be a solution which would save the beetle.

“… preserving a small amount of their habitat before it is gone will give us a great chance of saving these species from global extinction and regional extinction respectively, and one that is far more effective than some-how recreating their habitat … some minor changes to the location and size of the reserves would effectively save these species from extinction.”

DOC staff listed their attempts at finding a way to save the beetles’ habitat through the district and regional council pathways. A judicial review was suggested, although it was noted this was with some nervousness as there would be several “legal fish hooks”.

There was no judicial review. After 2013, the emails stopped.

DOC Mahaanui operations manager Andy Thompson said he understood Ngāi Tahu Farming commissioned Lincoln University to help with restoration efforts after 2013. Thompson was not aware of what the outcome has been and whether DOC’s eight years campaigning for a reserve had any effect.

“DOC would have loved to have seen a reserve created and an Eyrewell ground beetle population flourishing. The reality is we can only provide advice for managing biodiversity values on private land or advocate through consent processes and district council plans.

“We don’t have the ability to directly manage private land.”

“The fact that most of the forest has gone and now no beetles are being found means they’ve likely already been driven extinct, and a couple more years of trapping will probably confirm that.”

Ngāi Tahu Farming’s response

Priest said the plight of the beetle was an issue of importance to Ngāi Tahu Farming.

“Since 2013, Lincoln University has been surveying the Eyrewell Forest area at the request of Ngāi Tahu and has found no beetles. They have surveyed in the likely remaining sites using the same techniques as the original survey and have not found any beetles after searching for approximately 30,000 trap days. These annual surveys will continue until 2020 at this stage.

“In this area, approximately 120ha of pine forest has been retained and at least another 100ha of land has been set aside for native kānuka shrub land restoration. The pine forest in the central section of the development has not been cleared away, which is important to note because it is in this area that Canterbury Beetles [Eyrewell beetles] were once recorded.”

Ngāi Tahu Farming have been asked to clarify where these areas are on an aerial map but did not respond prior to publishing.

Wikipedian-at-large and keen entomologist Doctor Mike Dickison has expressed concern over the plight of the beetles for several months. He was not impressed by Ngāi Tahu Farming’s efforts.

“The preferred habitat of the beetle is pine forest, and they’ve removed 98.3% of the pine forest, chipped and mulched what’s left, and turned it into dairy pasture.”

With only one of the areas the beetle has been found in left as forest he suspects it will never be seen again.

“The fact that most of the forest has gone and now no beetles are being found means they’ve likely already been driven extinct, and a couple more years of trapping will probably confirm that.”

Mike Dickison visited Eyrewell Forest February 9. Photo: Mike Dickison

He’s not reassured by the claims of restoration efforts. During a recent visit to the area he saw planting in the corners of centre-pivot irrigated paddocks with dead plants.

A Lincoln University website show what it calls a “distributed forest” as being proposed for the farm. Concept drawings show thin rings of native trees surrounding centre-pivot irrigators.

Brockerhoff said when he was in talks with Ngāi Tahu Farming it hoped shelter belts which were going to be established between irrigated paddocks would provide enough habitat for the beetles.

“We suggested a single row of trees in the landscape established after the habitat conversion would probably not do the trick.”

He was unsurprised at the news no beetles have been found since he found the last one in 2005.

“I think the surveys done from 2013 onwards was after the pine forest had been cleared.”

He said while guesswork was involved, it’s probable no beetles have been found because the forests gone: “The shredding and the mulching would not have left a lot of invertebrates behind.”

While 120ha might sound like a large area it’s still a limited habitat according to Brockerhoff.

“Even if there is a population there, there’s no guarantee they can actually survive there.”

“The decision to convert Eyrewell Forest to pasture has been driven by an economic assessment of profitability, with little consideration of biodiversity values.”

Why can’t we save a beetle?

Insects on private land don’t have much protection. The only exception is if they are listed as protected under the Wildlife Act. Despite being on a DOC list of 150 conservation priority species, the Eyrewell ground beetle is not on the list of protected insects.

draft policy for indigenous biodiversity has been written which could cover insects in the future, however, there’s disagreement about plantation forests. The Forest Owners’ Association and Federated Farmers want a special exclusion stopping any plantation forest from being classed as being worthy of protection, regardless of what threatened species might live there.

While most don’t think of commercial pine forests as hotbeds of biodiversity they’ve become home to a surprising number of New Zealand’s threatened species. A 2010 article published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology found 118 species listed as threated live in plantation forests. These include birds such as kiwi and falcons, bats, fish, plants, and invertebrates like the Eyrewell ground beetle.

The article makes special mention of the Eyrewell forest:

“However, this forest, along with several others in this area, is currently being converted to pasture, primarily for dairying. The decision to convert Eyrewell Forest to pasture has been driven by an economic assessment of profitability, with little consideration of biodiversity values. If the conversion is implemented without setting aside adequate areas of suitable habitat for H. brevicula [Eyrewell beetle] (i.e. plantation forest or restored kānuka forest) then this species is likely to become extinct in the near future.”

Brockerhoff’s most optimistic view of the likelihood the beetles’ tenacity might help it survive the dairy conversion is far from inspiring.

“The chances aren’t too good but it’s difficult to say.”

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/02/12/440614/hello-cows-bye-bye-rare-beetle?preview=1&fbclid=IwAR0dLISjIFB1tTMSvB46RPzTEWOYLuMSmwiC7q_o4GWOkFMCh5jhMPZ04hs

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Shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail, drugged, car destroyed, home sledgehammered – something is very wrong with NZ’s justice system – (a must read book review)

A Book, “Man of Convictions” by Anne Hunt
Reviewed by Veronica Harrod

This is a book I’ve only part read but will be completing as soon as I have time. The little I’ve read is a shocking eye opener and indicative of the fact that something is terribly wrong with our justice system. Not the country I grew up in that is for sure.  EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

Lake Horo 1200.JPG
Lake Horowhenua of which Philip Taueki is kaitiaki   [Photo: Pam Vernon]

Documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.”

 

By Veronica Harrod

Anne Hunt, published by Potangotango Foundation, PO Box 664, Levin 5540, New Zealand, Man of Convictions: Taueki – a man, his tribe and their lake, http://annehunt.co.nz; 2017. 275pp. ISBN 978-0-473-40314-0 (PDF)

This is journalist Anne Hunt’s fourth non-fiction book and first e-book. “Man of Convictions” is referred to as “first published” and “V1.11” because Hunt will update the content with new information when it’s available. The author states she, “makes no apology for writing this book from the perspective of the Taueki family.” Hunt also makes background information available on her website including court documents and transcripts which supports the book’s content. She also includes information in the book about her own family history and extensive and enduring involvement in assisting Philip Taueki since 2010.

The e-book comprises 24 chapters on Levin resident Philip Taueki’s battles as a kaitiaki of Lake Horowhenua since his return from London in 2004 where he was working as an accountant “…for some time living in the prestigious neighbourhood of WC1 London where members of the Royal Family reside.”

But this isn’t a book about his impressive academic and professional achievements it is a book about how ugly everything can get when there is a lot at stake. Hunt describes in meticulous and documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.” For the last nine months he has been left with no water supply to his residence after Horowhenua District Council illegally turned it off and he will face a retrial on a charge of trespssing on his own land in January 2018 even though he has been aquitted twice of the same charge in previous court cases.

The opening chapter traverses the history of MuaUpoko and Philip’s whakapapa to “an ariki by the name of Taueki, the renowned paramount chief” who signed “the Treaty of Waitangi” before launching in chapter after gruelling chapter of his numerous arrests, court cases and the role third parties have played including state and government organisations. The, no doubt, long fought for establishment approval he achieved in London stands in stark contrast to the scorn, ridicule and material deprivation he has experienced since returning to the community where he was born and raised. Many people in his home town of Levin refer to renowned paramount chief Taueki’s great great grandson Philip Taueki as “the Mad Maori who lived down by the lake.”

The book presents a disturbing picture of what people in positions of power and authority are prepared to do to maintain control over Lake Horowhenua even if it means lying under oath. At one court trial Judge Harvey asked former Horowhenua District Council mayor Brendan Duffy whether two buildings formerly tenanted by the yachting and rowing clubs had toilets and Mr Duffy answered “correct” even though, “On inspection they confirmed there were no toilets to be found.” Hunt has included quotes from court transcripts at every point in the book where the facts are likely to be disputed. What Mr Duffy said in court on oath is just one such example of her attention to detail. The behaviour of the local police also leaves a lot to be desired. One of many such instances is described when,”Constable Lionel Currie had certainly not picked a good time to claim he had served this trespass notice on Phil down at the lake. At that precise time, a whole team of councillors and candidates were erecting election hoardings in Levin, all prepared to testify that Phil was with us, hard at work digging holes in the stony ground.”

I would have liked to see Lake Horowhenua ownership information included as a separate paragraph in its own right because who the legal owners of Lake Horowhenua are is the crux of the issue Hunt writes about. Instead some of this important information is buried in other references. We know the lake is privately owned because Hunt writes, “A British certificate of title for the lake partition had been issued on 19 March 1899” but annoyingly doesn’t say who it was issued to except that “Mua-Upoko’s vast ancestral estate had therefore shrivelled from 52,000 acres in the whole Horowhenua Block to little more than a lake and some sandy acres along the shoreline.”

Also I would have liked to see mentioned in the book that of the 43 charges laid by Levin police against Phil Taueki 33 have been quashed, dropped or he was found not guilty of. That fact alone suggests something else apart from maintaining law and order was motivating the local police force.

That aside this e-book is essential reading for everyone who lives in Horowhenua, especially Levin, and those interested in reading about history, police injustices, legal cases and precedents, Maori, European/colonial world views and the long and convoluted history of the fight for control over Lake Horowhenua not least because it challenges long held assumptions. Horowhenua District Council officers, elected officials, journalists and media should also read this book.

The e-book is written in a straight-forward and easy to read style and the layout is easy to navigate. At the end of each chapter are notes which include a glossary of terms, names of relevant people, Maori to English translation of certain words, maps and points of interest that help to provide context and understanding. The way the information has been presented makes the timeline of events easy to follow which is important because there were so many arrests, so many charges, so many court cases against Philip Taueki which is why the book is called “Man of Convictions” available for free download at http://annehunt.co.nz/#

NOTE: for further articles by Veronica use the search box.

Veronica Harrod is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.

For more information on Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.

 

Why the Foxton Cenotaph Must Stay Put

This important information from William McGregor concerns a matter currently the subject of public consultation … the North end of Foxton’s main street. Mr McGregor is Manawhenua.  He was born of this rohe (region) and is a Kaitiaki – (Guardian) of what his Tupuna (Ancestors) left behind.
cenotaph resized.jpg
The cenotaph in Foxton’s main street, currently the subject of consultation by HDC


Kia ora mai tatou katoa ….

To say I am “passionate” about the Cenotaph at the Northern end of Main St. Foxton is an understatement, and here’s why ….

It is of VITAL importance to understand a few things first – there is a MAJOR difference in understanding when two (or more) “Cultures” merge, yet VERY FEW apply simple RESPECT to the fact that “we” ARE DIFFERENT in what we say/mean …. and therein lies the problem. Bear with me ….

To those of you who have read the “Fiftieth Jubilee” (1888 – 1938) of Te Awahou, you would note the mention of Ihakara Tukumaru as being the “Paramount Chief” of the locality, and, because of HIS “friendly & peaceful outlook”, that “European Settlement” was easy & rapid. (Paraphrasing)
In 1843, Rev. James Duncan settled over on Matakarapa (the land Te Rauparaha “tuku’d” (gifted) to Ihakara Tukumaru) and he stayed there until he moved across the river onto ANOTHER piece of “land” that Ihakara, (AND HIS PEOPLE) “gifted him”, in appreciation for the work he (Duncan) was doing for the local Maori on a Spiritual level.

Earliest records show there was a old “Native” Meeting house where the Cenotaph stands today.
It was replaced with a Church and that’s quite possibly because of Rev. James Duncan’s work with the Natives, in bringing “God” into their lives. We can only speculate ….
What we KNOW is that there was an ANCIENT “burial ground” there, that contained “Natives” BEFORE the Settlers arrived, and some of Te Awahou’s (Foxton’s) earliest Settlers were interred there …. Why? – BECAUSE THAT WAS the cemetery!
Avenue Road, Lady’s mile etc. WEREN’T EVEN “established” yet!

Here’s where you need to use your imagination ….
BEFORE the Settlers came to Aotearoa, the “Natives” DIDN’T bury their loved ones in “regimental lines” that you see today!
They buried them by trees, boulders, hills – where-ever the terrain allowed; there was NO “right way/wrong way” – that’s just how it was!
Now *NOTE –
When Settlers died, the “Undertaker” took the corpse away and attended the body and the funeral was held – DONE!
When “Maori” died, it’s as it is today – we sleep with the body, we cover it with cuddles/kisses – we loath when the three days are up; this is the FINAL ACT of our loved one’s “earth” journey …. their Spiritual journey BEGINS ….
These understandings of our “loved ones” FINAL JOURNEY is VASTLY DIFFERENT, and THAT’S O.K.! It is what it is! But, it needs to be acknowledged!

So, HERE’S MY POINT –
When Ihakara Tukumaru (and HIS PEOPLE) tuku’d that piece of whenua (land) to the PEOPLE OF TE AWAHOU, they KNEW who was buried there, they would have EXPECTED that the remains of both Maori AND Settlers alike to be RESPECTED as their FINAL RESTING PLACE!

I heard it said “But, when something is given as a “gift”, you have no say after that as to what happens to that “gift””!
I say “If it was a piece of whenua (land) “EXCESS TO NEED”, of NO CONSEQUENCE, then yes – walk away – it doesn’t have any significance to anyone”.
But that’s NOT THE CASE HERE – for (indeed) Ihakara HIMSELF is buried there! And so are other members of his Whanau – in fact, even some Immediates!

When the Cenotaph was put in place (1920) “koiwi” (human remains) were unsettled – it was an accident – it can be forgiven…. I believe it IS forgiven.

But, to go back and unsettle MORE koiwi – KNOWING that there are MANY over a VERY BIG AREA still there, is SACRILEGE; it is WANTON DESTRUCTION and (because it is known what is there) that “act” is NOT FORGIVABLE!

And FOR WHAT …. a few people’s VANITY?! WHY?!
The Cenotaph is a memorial to those who died for Te Awahou – and like my Tupuna, I say – LET THEM “REST IN PEACE”!
Ake, ake, ake – Amene.

William McGregor


Note:

I attended the first meeting and considering what’s being said here by Mr McGregor, nowhere did I see official acknowledgement of the fact that beneath that cenotaph is an urupa (cemetery) in spite of the fact that HDC claims to respect their relationship with Iwi and wahi tapu. You can read their official statement on that at their website. Here is a relevant excerpt from there:

Through its decision-making processes, Council recognises the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and kaitiakitanga, providing for the relationship of Maori and their traditions with their ancestral lands, water sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.


Concerning the Consultation

Regarding this part of the street restructure, there has been one consultation meeting so far, led by a facilitator. Had the HDC had their way this cenotaph would likely have been moved already. Last year they arranged for a blessing of it prior to their street revamp plans and the original plan was to see it moved. However both tangata whenua and other local citizens of Foxton protested with a peaceful sit in to express their grievances. The final disbanding of that process happened following a meeting with protest leader William McGregor and other protest representatives, the CE of HDC and a Police mediator. A promise was made it was said to those present (which HDC now flatly deny – article to follow shortly on that) that no more work would be done either beyond Wharf Street or to the cenotaph without further public consultation and this has been the main bone of contention. Lack of proper consultation. Many folk simply want the street left as is, aside from a tidy up, and the $1.6 million spent on what they see as more urgent priorities like clean drinking water, opening the river loop and paying down the $68 million council debt which they know will inevitably hit their pockets in the form of raised rates. The next protest in March this year concerned all of these issues and the fact that HDC was said to be reneging on their word. There was a letter from three HDC Councillors circulated to all households the day the second protest started citing the original agreement between parties at the cenotaph protest claiming the promise was about the cenotaph only. It was signed by the CE. Who ever heard of the validity of an ‘agreement’ though, with the signature of only ONE party to the agreement on it? Imagine the Treaty of Waitangi with only Governor Hobson’s signature. Hardly credible is it?

The other thing is, none of those attendees of the said meeting ever received a copy! (Well not until they cleared their junk mail at the end of the day the March protest started that is).

On the note of consultation, as set out on the HDC website/info, consultation is defined as to:

  • Provide easy-to-understand summaries of proposals and plans
  • Identify who will be affected by decisions and encourage them to make their views known to the council 

In addition:

  • councils also must give reasons for their decisions and
  • Find out what all the practical options are for dealing with issues and carefully assess them

I have spoken with the facilitator & asked how many meetings there would be. There are three altogether, the first was for all parties including the public to contribute their ideas. The second is by invitation only (due I’m told, to numbers) and will concern key stakeholders. Stakeholders are the public, Iwi and business people from the main street. Certain property owners will be invited, I’m not sure about the renters of property. That was not too clear.

The second meeting will take place after all the comments are collated and we have no date yet for that. The third meeting will be public allowed, and excuse my cynicism but I’d say it will be all done and dusted by then. The decision that is. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

And who makes the final decision? Council does.  If you would like to contact the facilitator I’m sure HDC would enable that. If not contact us. And keep yourself up to date on meeting announcements by visiting HDC’s website regularly.

EnvirowatchRangitikei