Department of Conservation

Our success with tourism will end up with Kiwis having to pay to use their own country

Charging tourists will inevitably end up with citizens having to pay to walk their owr national parks.

International tourists may have to start paying to visit our national parks as the Department of Conservation struggles to cope with the tourism boom.

Concern about pressures on conservation land from swelling international visitor numbers has prompted the Conservation Authority to start investigating “charging mechanisms” to pay for the increasing costs of handling those numbers.

Last year, tourism replaced the dairy industry as the top foreign exchange earner for the first time in five years, bringing in $13.5 billion, compared with $13b for dairy.

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited New Zealand last year, but the tourism sector predicted numbers to grow by nearly another million in about five years.   Read more »

Slater to contact police about possible firearms charges

Some bloke called Slater is referring two hunters to the police for Arms Act breaches.

Two hunters who accidentally killed four endangered takahē during a botched pukeko cull on an Auckland island may be stripped of their gun licences.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has completed its investigation into August’s pukeko cull on Motutapu Island which found two members of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association shot the rare birds.

The takahē were killed during the organised cull to cut down the number of pukeko on the island.

A detailed forensic investigation, including analysis of pellets found in the birds, confirmed the shots came from the guns of two men in the culling party, DOC’s deputy director general of operations Mike Slater said.    Read more »

DOC cleared of any blame in the death of US student in Mount Aspiring National Park

THE CONSERVATION Department has been cleared of any blame in the death of an American student who perished after becoming separated from her two flat mates while tramping earlier this year near Wanaka.

Allison ‘Ally’ Willen from Akron, Ohio, was on an expedition with her two flatmates on the Gillespie Pass in Mount Aspiring National Park when they were suddenly hit by bad weather on April 25.

The 20-year-old, who was taking a semester abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, then became separated from the pair who managed to walk to safety.

Willen’s body was discovered a week later high up in the Young Valley at Makarora near a backpack and raincoat that had been found earlier in the week.

This month Otago/Southland Coroner David Crerar released his findings into Willen’s untimely death. He confirmed the student had drowned.

He cleared DOC of any blame, saying there was no evidence to suggest advice given by department staff to the trampers, or any warning signage and information was insufficient.    Read more »

Is Maggie Barry suffering from the afflictions of the aged?

- NewstalkZB

– NewstalkZB

New Zealand’s favourite grandmother, Maggie Barry, must be seriously suffering from the afflictions of the aged with her latest appointment.

Te Papa Atawhai – The Department of Conservation (DOC) – has appointed New Zealand’s first threatened species ambassador.

DOC threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki.

Nicola Toki, who has worked in wildlife conservation for more than a decade, has been appointed to the high-profile job working with DOC to help protect the country’s threatened species.

She will be building partnerships and encouraging New Zealanders to become involved in conservation efforts.

Ms Toki said as far as her engagement with iwi goes, tāngata whenua already have a good grasp of the importance of her mahi [work] in their role as protectors of the environment.

“Iwi already understand the importance of a Threatened Species Ambassador because it’s embedded in the principles of katiakitanga (guardianship),” Ms Toki said.

“Iwi as kaitiaki understand that these birds and reptiles and plants and bugs they’re not just things apart from us they’re intrinsic part of our being.

“I’m really looking forward to working with iwi right across the country on those things that are special to them.”

Ms Toki said the new role sent a signal to the rest of the world about how much Aotearoa values conservation.

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Surely this isn’t really necessary?

I hate possums, I really do, I’ve shot literally thousands of them.

I remember one trip when I was around 18 to Matamata and we shot 500 in one night on a farm…with shotguns. The bruising was something to be believed. The next night we went out and shot 300 more.

So don’t get me wrong, I loathe possums, they aren’t meant to be here.

But I have to question the sanity of mass drops of 1080 poison when this happens.

Source/ Facebook

Source/ Facebook

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Can we stop the lying about possums and Tb now please?

One of the reasons that we are told about why we need to carpet bomb our forests with 1080 is that we need to protect our dairy industry from Tb.

And it is a fair enough reason, if it is true. Surely we can’t risk dairy for some little Aussie imports who carry it?

And most of us would agree. But what if we are being lied to?

5862 (2015). Richard Prosser to the Minister for Primary Industries (18 May 2015): How many, if any, possums were dissected to look for Tb for each of the past ten years, and of these, how many were found to have Tb?

Hon Nathan Guy (Minister for Primary Industries ) replied: TBFree New Zealand (previously the Animal Health Board) have been carrying out necroscopy surveillance of possums and other wildlife since 2007. In the 2007/2008 year 4871 possums were surveyed with no Tb infections found, in 2008/2009 13,874 surveyed with 9 found, in 2009/2010 23,339 surveyed with 6 found, in 2010/2011 17576 surveyed with 1 found, in 2011/2012 25,103 surveyed with 9 found, in 2012/2013 18,682 surveyed with 12 found, in 2013/2014 10,930 surveyed with 17 found and in the 2014/2015 year 9,838 possums were surveyed with no infected possums found.

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Is Andrea Vance miffed she wasn’t invited on the helicopter?

Andrea Vance has her knickers in a bunch over the use of a helicopter by Nick Smith to take some of the family members of Pike River victims to…and here’s the kicker…places that can only be reached by…yes your guessed…helicopter.

No-one is objecting to the source of funds.

Bernie Monk not only says its ok, he says it’s necessary

Andrea Vance needs to report what the news is, not what she would rather it was.

Cabinet minister Nick Smith has chartered another helicopter for television cameras – this time using tax-payer cash set aside for the families of the Pike River victims.

Last year Smith used $6344 of Department of Conservation money to send up a chopper for a photo opportunity with ministers Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Today he was back on the West Coast for a press conference about the future of the Pike River mine site.

Families of the victims want a walking track and visitor centre to mark the place where 29 men died in 2010.   Read more »

Firm caught hazing Thar loses licence

Earlier in the year I wrote about a helicopter firm that was busted on video hazing Thar. I released the video (viewed nearly 9000 times) at the time along with details of the complaint…a story the media ignored.

Well, now that firm has lost its licence to hunt on Conservation lands as a result of the ensuing investigation.

A company has lost its hunting permit after illegally hunting thar on conservation land in the South Opuha area.

Department of Conservation’s Eastern South Island services director Andy Roberts said Ashburton company Station Air’s permit to do aerially-assisted trophy hunting was terminated after a breach of the permit conditions.    Read more »

Who is the Minister of Tourism again?

Who ever it is he needs to start addressing the brand damage to New Zealand that 1080 is causing.

The latest warning about eating trout from streams and rivers in a catchment that has been bombed with 1080 has gone global.

Anglers in New Zealand are being warned against eating trout caught in certain areas of the country. This is due to widespread pest control measures undertaken by the government, involving 1080 (‘ten-eighty’) poison pellets being dropped aerially in ‘blanket bombing’ of poisoned baits into around 25 large areas of New Zealand’s South Island, including extensive areas around Otago, South Westland, Murihiku, Taranaki and Waikato, totalling well over 500,000 hectares.

In an effort to prevent rodents, in particular non-native possum species, from impacting upon native bird, lizard and insect populations (possums are also suspected carriers of TB), the Department of Conservation (DoC) has a history of dropping the poison into particularly vulnerable areas, and the baits also drop into waterways where the poisons are consumed by invertebrates and crayfish, and get into the aquatic food chain.  Read more »

Bullying by Fenton “Jong-Un’ Wilson

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council has refused to respond to a LGOIMA request about Chairman Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson bullying external stakeholders.

This is typical of the kind of cover up the dodgy council run. They refuse to give out information until they are made to by courts or the Ombudsman.

Fortunately even when the dodgy council won’t release information it is possible to get it from other sources.

In the case of Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson bullying Radio New Zealand reporter Peter Fowler there was clear public trail of the bullying.

They abused Peter Fowler in person, then threatened to complain, then put out a press release before Radio New Zealand had a chance to respond.  Read more »