Department of Conservation

Questioning the Extremely Dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council


Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

On the 12th of June this blog started sending a series of OIAs to the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

As readers will know the council has a legal obligation to respond with in 20 working days.

What happened was the coverups and deceptions at the HBRC continued.

They sent a dodgy email back saying I had to refine down my requests, basically so they could continue hiding their bullying behaviour.

Then they delayed responding until well outside the statutory deadline. Here is the response.

Dear Mr Slater


This email is in regard to the s10 LGOIMA requests received by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (the Council) between 11 and 24 June 2014. Please consider this notice of the Council’s decision on those requests pursuant to s13(1) of the Act.

In accordance with section 17A (2) of The Act Council considers that the information requested (a total of 7 requests) made during the above timeframe and all within a 10 working day period, relate to the same or similar subject matters, that being the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, Tukituki Plan Change 6 and/or HBRIC Ltd. Therefore, Council has decided to treat all seven of those requests as a single request.   Read more »

Nick, stop being a dick

Nick Smith is getting all pus-faced and threatening legal action.

It shows he has been got at…and very unbecoming of a minister to resort to throwing around threats of legal action.

You either sue or don’t sue, you don’t whine about thinking about suing.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith has rejected allegations of political interference, after he was accused of “bullying” Fish and Game into pulling an advocacy campaign for cleaning up rivers and lakes.

Smith said he was considering legal action against Association of Freshwater Anglers president David Haynes, who made the allegations.

Haynes said Smith was highly critical of Fish and Game over the course of a Fish and Game Council meeting, held in Wellington this month.

“Nick Smith is very good at talking at and over people I think, and he was wading into them and they sat very quietly and listened to what he was saying,” Haynes told Morning Report.

“From my perspective they were very clearly being castigated, it could be construed as political interference – this was about telling Fish and Game to wind their neck in.”

The allegations were centred on a series of billboards, which called for greater protections to keep rivers and lakes clean.

Fish and Game is an independent organisation, which collects its funding through fees for fishing and hunting licenses.

It has statutory obligations to oversee fish and game management and ensure effective management of the country’s sports fish and game resources.

[...]    Read more »

Can you help DoC in Arthurs Pass?

After yesterday’s revelation that Cam is a Greenie too (just not Green Taliban), I feel I can finally come out as one and not be in fear of being paid this week.

Public service announcement:



Kea had “crossed a line in the sand” – bloody winged Saddam Husseins


Stuff has a story about large numbers kea that have moved into Kaiteriteri.

They are annoying the locals.

One photo shows kea attacking a solar array on someone’s roof.

Pesky kea are again bothering homeowners in Kaiteriteri, a seaside town in the Tasman district, and the message from authorities is that humans have to learn to co-exist with the curious birds.   Read more »

Questioning the Extremely Dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Ctd

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The tipline has been running hot with sources inside the Regional Council suggesting more areas for this blog to file OIA requests.

The depth of murk and dodginess around the dodgy socialist dam is scarcely believable, and it if it weren’t for good people on the inside of the regional council speaking out, the ratbags pushing this scheme would be getting away with it.

One of the most troubling issues that the staffers at the council are complaining about is the bullying and aggressive behaviour of Andrew Newman and Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson.

Light needs to be shone on their behaviour as they bullied and blocked people with legitimate concerns about the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanting to turn the Tukituki Toxic.

This LGOIMA request is attempting to establish just how far this bullying went.

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act Request

To the CEO of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council

RE: External stakeholders that Fenton Wilson or Andrew Newman have bullied.

Please provide all information relating to Andrew Newman and/or Fenton Wilson complaining about the conduct of any Fish & Game staff member in relation to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. This includes all email, facsimile and meeting minutes and any other sources of information.

Please provide all information relating to Andrew Newman and/or Fenton Wilson complaining about the conduct of any Department of Conservation staff member in relation to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. This includes all email, facsimile and meeting minutes and any other sources of information.

Please provide all information relating to Andrew Newman and/or Fenton Wilson complaining about the conduct of any Radio New Zealand staff member in relation to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. This includes all email, facsimile and meeting minutes and any other sources of information.

Please provide all information relating to Andrew Newman and/or Fenton Wilson complaining about the conduct of any Hawkes Bay Today staff member in relation to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. This includes all email, facsimile and meeting minutes and any other sources of information.

Please provide an acknowledgement of receipt of this LGOIMA request and provide a date when the information will be made available.

Please also provide the answers in an electronic format by return email.

Tahr Helicopter hazing case gaining wider coverage now

Last week we broke the story of a helicopter operator caught red handed on video hazing tahr. The video has been view more than 5,000 time as the story spreads.

Now the Timaru Herald has taken up the story.

A report of “indiscriminate” heli-hunting on public conservation land in South Canterbury has angered the deer hunting fraternity.

Footage of the alleged incident has appeared on the Whale Oil blog, and a group of South Canterbury deer hunters have also provided a sworn affidavit to the Department of Conservation.

According to the affidavit, the helicopter operator chased the tahr into a small gully, before dropping two people off to shoot the animals.

“After some flying up and down the gully it was obvious that the animals were being herded to where the shooter was,” the affidavit said.   Read more »

[EXCLUSIVE] Illegal helicopter hazing of Tahr caught on camera

Himalayan Tahr Photo/ Stealth Films

Himalayan Tahr Photo/ Stealth Films

As regular readers will know I am a fan of hunting…the last trip I went on required me to stalk and observe Sambar. After I shot my deer I then had to go and locate and retrieve the animal…this was all done on foot, including recovering the animal up a steep blackberry covered gully.

Some people think that hunting should be done from helicopters. I disagree with them.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with the culling of pest herds and using helicopters and trained cullers to do that.

But actually flying over scared and frightened animals, or worse hazing them into exhaustion and then allowing people to shoot them is not hunting. It disgusts me.

I have been provided this video of a helicopter operator hazing and herding Tahr on Department of Conservation land. This requires the helicopter pilot to drop off his “hunters” and then to harass and scare animals into the range of what you will see are obviously inexperienced and useless shots.

Accompanying the video is a sworn affidavit of the three actual hunters who, sitting in blaze orange, were on a ridge when the helicopter cowboys flew in and proceeded to haze the Thar. They managed to capture stills, and video of the whole incident which has been released exclusively to WOBH.

According to the affidavit, signed by three NZDA hunters, they observed in the South Opuha block the following:

On that morning at 11:17am 9the time when the first photograph was taken) we were located at grid ref 170° 42.0976′E; 43° 54.441′S at about 1200m ASL to the south of Sugarloaf when we heard, then saw an approaching helicopter. It was travelling from the valley of the South opuha and along the tributary of that river which runs between our position and Sugarloaf heading in a north westerly direction, slightly higher than we were at about 1350-1400m. We could clearly see the marking of this black machine, HQL. Read more »

Not content with killing Kiwis, tourists are now killing Keas too

Tourists taking to our road is a huge concern, especially in the South Island, where they seem to mix up their left and right because there is so little traffic to remind them they are on the wrong side of the road.  As a result, many tourists and some Kiwis come to grief every year.

Not content with reducing our population, tourists are now also killing endangered birds

Two young kea have died after suspected car surfing at Deaths Corner in the Otira Gorge.

The Department of Conservation said both birds suffered head injuries from similar incidents in the past week.

Senior ranger Chris Stewart, from DoC’s Arthur’s Pass team, said the parrots were known for landing on cars and picking things off, but sometimes when the cars took off the birds stayed put.

“When the car gets going, they are really in trouble,” Mr Stewart said.

It was not the first time kea had been seen car surfing in the area, however an unusually high number of birds had been congregating at the Otira Viaduct lookout this year, he said.

It’s where all the easy food is to be had.   Plus, those tourists are mighty fun.   The alternative is to go sit high on a ridge somewhere looking at beech trees.

“They are 1-year-old, teenagers, still having fun.”

They also seemed to copy each other.

“[Car surfing's] a bit of a problem.”

There was little DoC could do about it, other than educate people to not encourage the birds around people and their cars, Mr Stewart said.

Stupid feral kea car surfing.

Let them die.

It’s called natural selection.

South Island.  Road deaths.  Natural selection.  Hmmm.


- Laura Mills of the Greymouth Star

1080 to protect birds? Really?

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Weka eating 1080 poisoned carcass

Last week the Nick Smith said there is no evidence to suggest 1080 kills birds…I don’t know how he knows that but anyone who has been into a bush area after a 1080 drop will tell you that there are no birds, no sounds, nothing but death.

However now scientists are planning on boosting 1080 drops…to protect birds.

Scientists are supporting the Government’s plan to use targeted 1080 drops to protect native birds from an expected rat and stoat plague.

An abundance of beech seed this year is expected to cause a population explosion among stoats and rats in forests.

Under the “Battle for Our Birds” predator control programme, announced by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith last week, the Department of Conservation will treat up to an extra 500,000 hectares of conservation land with aerial 1080 application this year and next, should predator numbers increase.

The additional 1080 drop will increase the area of public conservation land treated for pests from 5 per cent to 12. The work is budgeted to cost $21 million over the next five years. DOC’s annual budget is $335m.   Read more »

The fight back begins

Had enough of killer cows? …the fight back has begun near National Park.

Shooting Killer Cows

Shooting Killer Cows

Ruapehu authorities have started shooting cattle roaming on the state highway near National Park.

Seven have been killed so far in a joint operation this week by the Ruapehu District Council, the Department of Conservation and police. A helicopter was used.  Read more »