Tag Archives: South Island

“No birds … no Kiwi, Tui, Weka, Kereru … all gone” – an observation on the West Coast from an 82 year old

Posted recently in 1080 social media pages (name supplied):

Graham says:
“Just before Christmas my worker and I were clearing back overhanging foliage from a footpath in a built up area. Along came an elderly gentleman on his little scooter thing they have these days. He wanted to stop for a yarn so we obliged. He was 82 and had just made one last journey back home to the area he grew up in … the West coast. He went to all his childhood and teenage years haunts and spent time, a lot of it in and on bush tracks.

I asked him did he notice much in the way of change since those days?

The Birds he said … the place used to be full of native birds but all he saw on this whole trip there was one Weka. Everything has gone. The bush is now dead. No Kiwi, no Weka or Tui, even the Kea had gone.

“The place used to be lousy with Keruru, now nothing. He has no doubt whatsoever that 1080 is to blame. It’s just destroyed everything.

Where he lives now, and I have no idea where that is, he said he had planted lots of Kowhai and every year the Tui came and he used to sit on the front porch and watch them … this year …  nothing … not one bird.

But of course a lifetime’s observation is unscientific and counts for nothing.”

EWR comment:

“… a lifetime’s observation is unscientific and counts for nothing” … note that even the independent science from bona fide scientists counts for nothing. Only the ‘science’ that the authorities sign off is considered acceptable. Remember the recent post citing Reihana Robinson in ‘The Killing Nation’ and the revelation that 70% of the Department of Conservation’s ‘scientific’ studies justifying the aerial distribution of 1080 are done in-house? 

So called anti-1080 people aren’t actually terrorists. They simply want clean, non poisoned water & food, at least 70% independent science … & pest control that really does target pests without killing our natives. It is simply not acceptable to kill 10K birds in one single 1080 drop. 

RELATED POSTS:

THE DECIMATION OF OUR NATIVE KEA – WE ARE WATCHING ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL TRAGEDIES TAKING PLACE!
GO INTO A 1080-POISONED FOREST, SEE FOR YOURSELF SAYS A NZ BUSHMAN OF 35 YEARS – NON TARGET BIRDS ARE DYING
IS 1080 SAVING OR DESTROYING OUR BIRD LIFE? HEAR FOR YOURSELF THE POISONED VS NON-POISONED FORESTS

kahurangi nat park jim hilton
Birds collected following a 1080 drop in the Kahurangi National Park, clearly, many are natives (Photo: Jim HIlton)
tom hunsdale
Weka collected after a 1080 drop on Great Barrier Island (Photo: Tom Hunsdale)

Header Photo: Tui in Kowhai tree (envirowatchrangitikei)


NOTE: For further articles on 1080 use categories at left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, a must watch is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information to make your own informed decision on this matter.

If you are pro poisoning of the environment, EnvirowatchRangitikei is not the place to espouse your opinions. Mainstream would be the place to air those. This is a venue for sharing the independent science you won’t of course find there.

Finally we don’t endorse violence in any way shape or form. We are not terrorists.

NOTE: Periodically & randomly the facebook share option will disappear from posts on the front (this) page. If it is not appearing, click on the heading of the article to go to its own page, usually the share button will show up there. (All else failing copy & past the url to your facebook page).

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“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.

Timaru’s ban 1080 protest

Thanks to Darrell McGrath for this fantastic coverage of the Timaru protest on Saturday 8th September. They had a great turnout. Well done Timaru!

Darrell McGrath

What can one say, Timaru you did a great job in turning up to a very important cause.
8th of September 2018 will go down in the record books for the amount of people who came together, to stand together and to voice their concern over the use of a poison, 1080.
Throughout New Zealand, from the Cape to Bluff, over the last 5-6 months, two blokes set about creating awareness on both islands. Alan and Emile began the HIKOI OF A POISONED NATION.
Incredibly brave move as it was the cold winter months and the 8th Sept was the day they would congregate in Wellington outside the Beehive.
Not sure on the actual number, but with Wellington holding the main event, many, many towns throughout both islands, came together in full support for the banning of 1080.
I was born and bred here in Timaru, I went away for a few years but returned. Only the day before (the 7th) I saw some post that was looking like a typical Timaru response, ONLY 6 were showing as going. I thought that was just typical of Timaru, so many voice their own opinion, so many not having much knowledge on many topics, but when action takes place, you don’t see them.
I was absolutely wrapped in what i saw outside the Timaru City Council building. One by one, the people gathered and in the matter of 4–50minutes, an incredibly great turn out.
Well done to ALL who showed, well done to the ones who organized the Timaru 1080 Gathering and as we all get together, country wide, lets hope that common sense takes place and this government actually KILLS 1080 ONCE AND FOR ALL.
I see many posts where the blame points to the immediate government, it can’t just be blamed on this one, as over the last 30 years, this criminal element has been going on through many puppets, of different parties.
If this Government now, run my Jacinda Adern wants to put herself and party on the map of good, NOW IS THE TIME. KILL KILL KILL 1080!!!

Timaru, this video is for you, all those that supported a worthy cause in exposing and bringing an end to this democidal ingredient.
#hikoiofapoisonednation

Despite 4K+ signatures against, a 1080 drop over Luggate, Alice Burn & Luggate Creek is going ahead

By Carol Sawyer

LUGGATE, NR WANAKA, OSPRI AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP GOES AHEAD, 19 JULY, 2018 – INCLUDING INTO THE ALICE BURN AND INTO LUGGATE CREEK

Despite a petition against the Luggate 1080 drop having 4,208 signatures, and a massive effort by some members of the local community to stop this drop, or at the very least have their concerns heard.

Despite the fact that, with no justification, OSPRI walked out of a public meeting, held to discuss the Luggate 1080 drop – a fact backed up in a media report by TBfreeNZ committee member Phil Hunt, who was there at the time.

Despite the fact that they have since destroyed the film they took of that meeting, which would have shown a calm and non-threatening gathering of 30 people, whereas they claimed they walked out over fears for their safety.( They had two security guards – these OSPRI men are mice ).

Despite the fact they have refused consistently to answer Luggate community queries since, ( with OSPRI Operations Extension officer Jennifer Lawn even hanging up the phone on Luggate resident Tracey Morrow, saying she didn’t have time for this conversation).

Despite the fact they have steadfastly refused to do any proper community consultation

Despite all of this and more……the drop goes ahead. These people care nothing for small communities or their concerns

1 ) OSPRI notification of aerial 1080 drop scheduled 19 July, 2018 – Wanaka Sun, 12 July, 2018

2 ) Map of drop zone ( We think ! There have been four maps !)

3 ) Photograph of public meeting in the Lake Wanaka Centre, 31 May, 2018, after OSPRI walked out. Phil Hunt, TBfree NZ committee member tried to assist by answering questions as well as he could.

See here : https://crux.org.nz/…/government-agency-walks-out-of-wanak…/

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Correspondence from OSPRI on their deliberate release of TB infected possums

OSPRI RESPONSE TO RECENT QUESTIONING RE CLARENCE RESERVE, MARLBOROUGH, IN RELATION TO AERIAL 1080 POISONING

Carol Sawyer writes: “This correspondence was sent to me by a Facebook friend last night and I felt it was worth posting in its entirety. It includes, for example, such questions as whether any rat and/or possum population assessment was carried out on the Clarence Reserve – either before or after the Oct 2016 aerial 1080 poison drop.

Nick Hancox, OSPRI Policy Advisor, is clearly rattled by reference to their release of deliberately Tb-infected possums.
He says below (6 July, 2017) “In closing I ask you to note that the deliberate release of TB-infected possums (for research purposes) was into a small area of the Orongorongo Valley, where TB in possums was already chronic and at high prevalence. The experimental release was immaterial in regard to disease risk and prevalence in the area. Unfortunately this matter has been the subject of a number of ill-founded and frankly mischievous pubic statements and claims.”

He appears to be denying the same thing was done at Muzzle Station in the Clarence Reserve. Well it was!

So I have also included earlier correspondence I had myself with OSPRI (April 2016) re deliberately infected possums released on Muzzle Station. Muzzle Station leases about 8,000 ha of the Clarence Reserve.”

***************************************************

RE DELIBERATELY INFECTING POSSUMS WITH TB (Carol’s correspondence referred to above)

I had a phone conversation in April, 2016, with Phillip Dawson, Operations Extension Officer for OSPRI NZ Ltd in Hamilton and he sent me this email

“Hello,

Links below might help to explain the release of TB infected animals for research, as we discussed over the phone.

Release of tb possum in Orongorongo valley https://www.tbfree.org.nz/research-work-vital-to-achieving-…

Muzzle station research https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/…/how-does-chronic-tb-af…

Not sure of how many more of these might have been done but all would have been under a controlled conditions where TB animals can be traced and removed and where TB is already in wildlife in the area.

Regards, Phil”

I asked Phil if he thought they would kill all the remaining possums with the 1080 drop and he said they would kill 90% of the possums and eventually do two more drops and get the rest!

**********************************************************
RECENT CORRESPONDENCE WITH OSPRI :

Information request to TBfree

Sent: Monday, 3 April 2017 6:03:33 p.m.
Subject: TBfree Contact Us Form

Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park, including the hunting area known as Clarence Reserve, near Kaikoura, South Island was subjected to aerial 1080 poisoning on the 16 Oct 2016 as part of the agency TB Free’s ‘pesticide control’.
An OIA response from TBFree informed me that the rationale for the operation was because 10 pigs over 2 years were found with TB and that there had been ‘an assumption’ (scientific knowledge unknown) that possum were therefore carrying it too.
Recent OIA results from DoC’s aerial 1080 poison drop at Makarora Valley, South Island revealed that no possum count had been undertaken at all and that rat population assessments revealed very low levels of rats.

With this in mind, I am interested to know the following:
Whether any rat and/or possum population assessment was carried out at Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park – either before or after the Oct 2016 aerial 1080 poison drop. Please provide detailed methodology and results of these assessments (if they exist).
I understand that there is a current proposal for a further 44,000 hectares adjacent to the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park to be aerial 1080 poisoned later in 2017 – The Clarence River reserve. Can you explain why this proposal does not currently appear on DoC Pesticide Summary Interactive map? Can you clarify where such information might be readily available to the public and tourists translations if required?
Finally, can you please provide full details of the rationale for this proposed 1080 poison operation at Clarence Reserve and whether this is at all connected to the 10 wild pigs contained in the previous rationale? Again, I need measurement and assessment (methodology, results) of rats and possum populations within this specific area within the last 5 years (if this exists).

For the purposes of this OIA I confirm I am an NZ resident.

*****************************************************************************

On 4/05/2017, at 11:10, Nick Hancox ( Nick.Hancox@tbfree.org.nz ) wrote:

Dear ………….

I reply to your emailed information request of 3 April 2017 (copied below) as follows:

TBfree NZ completed aerial 1080 baiting for possum control over part of Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park on 16 October 2016, as part of our Kowhai Swyncombe operation.

Prior to that operation, possum density within the target area had been estimated (in 2014) using Bite Mark Index methodology. This returned a mean Bite Mark Index (BMI) of 12%. Details of the methodology are available at http://www.npca.org.nz/…/a1_possum%20monitoring_2015-nov_lr….

Post-operational monitoring of possum density has not been carried out for the Kowhai-Swyncombe operation. It is our normal practice to monitor possum densities no earlier than 2-3 years after aerial control operations. This later monitoring is more useful, in that it provides an indication of any population recovery and thus allows us to begin the process of monitoring the need for further control work.

Information provided to you on 13 March 2017 (as attached) on findings of TB infected pigs was in relation to TBfree’s planned 2017 Clarence Reserve operation. This operation was originally planned to commence from 1 July 2017. However we are currently negotiating timing of the operation with affected landowners, which is likely to result in a later start date for this operation, possibly in November.

We have no possum monitoring results from the Clarence Reserve operational area. Possum numbers are assumed to be high enough to warrant control, because of the lack of previous possum control in the area. As previously advised to you, the history of TB in both livestock and wild pigs from the area is strongly indicative of TB infection in possums.

We do not monitor rat populations associated with TB possum control operations unless this is specifically required by the Department of Conservation.

DOC Pesticide Summary information for the Clarence Reserve Operation will appear after DOC has been formally notified of a detailed operational plan. This requires consent and boundary agreements to be finalised with affected and neighbouring landowners. Negotiations towards this are still in progress, so the Pesticide Summary may not appear for another month or more. Formal prior notification of the operation – as required under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act – involves a number of steps, including:

· Written notification and visits to all land occupiers within and adjacent to the control area

· Written notice to known likely users of the area, such as hunting and outdoors groups and clubs, concession holders and guides

· A public meeting in Kaikoura which will be advertised

· Notices in local newspapers

· Signposting at all likely access points

Attached for your information is a factsheet for the Clarence Reserve Operation, which will be distributed as part of the above notification. The factsheet for last year’s Kowhai-Swyncombe operation is also attached.

Yours sincerely

Nick Hancox

NICK HANCOX

SENIOR OPERATIONAL POLICY ADVISOR

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

**********************************************************

Hello again Nick.

Can you please inform me as to why the Clarence River area cattle herd apparently historically displaying bTb has not been culled? Whilst travelling in this area last month, it was obvious that cattle were being walked down public highways through traffic and other contamination risks.

It seems blatantly obvious to me that with no possum assessment or monitoring done and no changes to the way cattle are transported through the area, and no culling of infected herds, that the situation will remain the same.

This cycle of aerial poisoning without scientific rationale – especially when elsewhere possum are being deliberately infected with Tb and released into the environment – is unsustainable and the Directors of Ospri & Doc will now become accountable.

Your response?

*************************************************************

From: Nick Hancox <Nick.Hancox@tbfree.org.nz>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2017 at 13:59

Dear……

Without knowing exactly which cattle were being moved where, it is difficult for me to comment. However when cattle are driven along roads, this is usually to move them from one paddock to another within their home farm. This in itself would not create risk of infection spreading to other cattle herds, and in the Clarence Reserve locality, wildlife TB will be also be present, so local droving of cattle along roads would not create any additional disease transmission risks. There are strict controls on movement of cattle from infected herds to live sale or to other herds, and in most cases movement direct to slaughter is the only realistic option. Transmission of TB from cattle to humans (other than by drinking unpastuerised milk from a cow with advanced tuberculous mastitis, or through close and confined contact such as in a milking shed) is extremely unlikely.

TB-infected herds are subject to regular TB tests and all test-positive animals are culled. This usually sufficient to eradicate TB from herds after a few whole-herd tests, unless the herd is exposed to re-infection from wildlife. In the latter case a regular test and slaughter regime can at least keep infection within the herd down to a level where continuing to maintain the herd is feasible and economic.

Whole herd slaughter is an option in some cases but it makes little sense where re-infection from wildlife is likely, as any replacement herd would soon become infected as well.

You can find details of herd testing and movement control policies in our National Operational Plan at http://www.tbfree.org.nz/national-operational-plan.aspx

In closing I ask you to note that the deliberate release of TB-infected possums (for research purposes) was into a small area of the Orongorongo Valley, where TB in possums was already chronic and at high prevalence. The experimental release was immaterial in regard to disease risk and prevalence in the area. Unfortunately this matter has been the subject of a number of ill-founded and frankly mischievous pubic statements and claims.

Yours sincerely

Nick

NICK HANCOX

SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

**************************************************************

Photos

1 ) (Header) Possum being deliberately injected with Tb before release into wild – Landcare Research photo
2 ) Mustering on Muzzle Station – Musters oldest team member, Rick Denton – Photo RadioNZ
3) Hereford cattle crossing the Clarence River on Muzzle Station – Photo “Stuff”

SOURCE

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.)

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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

Thousands of bees are dying in Murchison. No-one knows why

This is so tragic. We’ve just seen bees dying in the Coromandel. Now Murchison. There have been many die offs of other creatures/insects/marine life for some time now. Small wonder with the state of our planet now. It is so highly polluted it is anybody’s guess what has caused each of them. EnvirowatchRangitikei

From Stuff.co.nz

Hundreds of thousands of bees are dying in Murchison, near Nelson, and beekeepers are at a loss to save them.

Veteran beekeeper Ricki Leahy said he first noticed dead bees in front of his hives in the Mangles Valley last Friday.

Leahy, who is an ApiNZ board member, produces Tutaki Honey through his business Trees and Bees. He said the 40 hives used for queen rearing around his home had been affected, as well as another 186 hives located half a kilometre down the road.

Leahy estimated the number of dead bees to be in the hundreds of thousands.

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Dead bees from eight hives in Mangles Valley Murchison Photo: Ricki Leahy

READ MORE:
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“We had a look at them again this morning to see if we could rescue any and it is just hopeless, there are so many dead bees.”

The hives were fine when Leahy checked them on Thursday, but bees had continued to die since Friday.

“What bees are left are looking very unstable on their feet, they have got the jitters and there is actually nothing we can really do to help the situation. There is nothing we can do. ”

In his 40 years beekeeping, Leahy said he hadn’t experienced a loss of hives on such a scale and that the impact was “absolutely devastating”.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/100789676/thousands-of-bees-dying-in-murchison-from-suspected-poisoning

The Kea are nearly all gone thanks to 1080

Published on Nov 17, 2017

Pete Lusk tells us how few kea there are left in New Zealand after 1080 poison use

Published on Sep 25, 2016

Kea are one of the most endangered parrots on Earth. The New Zealand Govt agency – Department of Conservation – continues to aerially drop poisonous food directly into kea habitat to kill rats, possums and deer … but it’s not just rats and deer that are dying …

Why are martial law military exercises being held in Local Communities?

Well, wars are about money. Ask General Smedley Butler who blew the whistle last round on full scale global slaughter by the money machine/cartel. Watch this man who exposes the Military Industrial Complex. Your government/corporation has recently committed 20 billion dollars to this machine, while kids starve, people sleep in their cars and the most number of teenagers in the world proportionately kill themselves. The Nats don’t particularly care about that, after all their former in-bed-with-the-banking-cartel-leader has been knighted for his efforts in multiplying our debt to half a trillion dollars.  What’s new? … EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

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Article from thedailyblog

Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague said in July that documents released under the Official Information Act indicated that ‘the scope of law and regulation that the government is proposing to suspend, to facilitate these developments, is breath-taking’.

 

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Photo: The Daily Blog

Residents in Tasman-Buller question the New Zealand Defence Force’s judgement in staging more huge ‘war games’ in their townships.  This year’s exercise began last week and will continue until mid-November. The military exercise continues Southern Katipo, held in Nelson-Tasman-Buller-Marlborough in 2015. This year, West Coast and Kaikoura districts are included.

More than two thousand troops from New Zealand, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, the Pacific and elsewhere are involved. Some military personnel are ‘embedded’ in local communities before the exercise begins.

During the 2015 exercise, Murchison (population 500), was ‘occupied’ by international military forces for one month. While some Murchison residents were comfortable with that, others say it was a stressful ordeal.

Parks and sports areas were requisitioned by the military and declared off-limits to locals, while troops conducted armed exercises around the shopping area, on domestic streets, in rural areas and within Kahurangi National Park.

One woman said that ‘Helicopters buzzed overhead for most of the day, huge military aircraft flew low over our homes, and it was scary waking up to find armed troops running up your street.’

During one exercise, NZDF invited Murchison residents to volunteer to stage a mock protest against the military.  Civilians, including a large number of school students, willingly took part, waving placards and throwing water bombs at troops, and they were encouraged to chant and act aggressively toward troops.

The ‘protest’ turned ugly, however, with several civilians being thrown to the ground, handcuffed and dragged away, with several sustaining injuries. One young woman reported on Facebook that she had been pulled into a tank and that she had been assaulted.  After a visit from Defence personnel the post was removed.

READ MORE:

http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/the-police-state-in-new-zealand.html?m=1

 

MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

 

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NZ Professional Firefighters Union reveals Christchurch firefighter crews were stood down at nightfall, day one, while the Port Hills fires burned – an independent inquiry sought

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Photo Credit: NZPFU

Christchurch Firefighters Frustrated and Bewildered

The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union, representing all career front line firefighters can reveal that Christchurch Fire Service Crews (career firefighters) were stood down and told to return to Stations while the catastrophic Christchurch fires continued to burn – said Derek Best, Secretary of the Union.

The Union can reveal that Rural Fire Officials in charge of the incident stood down all career firefighters battling the blaze. The order to stand down was given at nightfall in day one; leaving career firefighters frustrated, bewildered and disappointed.

The fire was left to burn out of control and the frustrated firefighters could see the flames from their Stations. Ninety minutes later, the alarm was re-raised and Christchurch firefighters responded back to find the fire had gained significant momentum and was seriously threatening many properties.

As a result of returning to the locality from which they had been stood down from, they saved at least six houses from total destruction – said Derek Best.

READ MORE


A further article from Stuff certainly confirms the need for an enquiry

Port Hills firefighter allegedly threatened with arrest for fighting blaze

Andy Nicholson says he was told he would be arrested if he didn’t stop fighting the fire on his rural Early Valley Road property.

Nicholson is part of a local fire brigade that was fighting the Port HIlls, Christchurch, fire on Monday night with a water tanker.

A video filmed by his 19-year-old son Robert shows him driving up to a neighbour’s house to try battle the blaze before realising the situation was too dangerous.

“The most important thing is to get to a fire early [but] by the time we got to Ken’s place this thing was astronomical. The fire had rocketed up to the edge [of the road]. It had engulfed everything.

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Firefighters were sent home early from Christchurch fire response

“We knew we couldn’t stop the fire so we got out of there.”

He went back to protect his own property, where there is now damage to his pasture and fences. Luckily his house and livestock made it through the fire unscathed.

But, he said, a policeman forced him to leave nevertheless, allegedly saying he would be arrested if he didn’t comply with the evacuation order.

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From TVNZ:

(Read & see videos at the link)

Christchurch firefighters were told to “stand down” by Rural Fire officials and return to their stations on the first day fires started to engulf the Port Hills, the NZ Professional Firefighters Union says.

“The fire was left to burn out of control and the frustrated firefighters could see the flames from their stations,” Secretary Derek Best told 1 NEWS.

It wasn’t until 90 minutes later the alarm was raised to respond.

“As a result of returning to the locality from which they had been stood down from, they saved at least six houses from total destruction,” said the union. (TVNZ)

About 450 homes have been evacuated since the fires started burning on Monday, with eleven destroyed.

As a result of the stand down, the union says it is starting to question whether more houses could have been saved.

“The union and firefighters seriously question the tactical command decisions made and believes the tactics adopted were significantly flawed,” Mr Best said.

The union says there is an urgent need for a full and independent inquiry.

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This is not right at all. Sending firefighters away?  This is tragic. May justice be done, and a full and independent inquiry be conducted. What are the chances? We’ll see.

EnvirowatchRangitikei