Department of Conservation

Why is Maggie Barry trying to take 22ha from protected conservation land?

Who would ever have thought that a conservation minister would be going to the Supreme Court in order to remove 22ha of protected forest in order to build a dam and flood the park.

An environmental organisation is seeking support ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Today environmental organisation Forest & Bird released a video showing “some of the public conservation land which will be destroyed if a land swap allowing New Zealand’s largest irrigation dam goes ahead”.

The land in question is 22ha of the Ruahine Forest Park, which has been subject to a legal battle over a proposed land swap.

In September the Court of Appeal upheld a Forest and Bird appeal which argued the land swap of the 22 hectares of the Ruahine Forest Park, for 170ha of land the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) would potentially buy from Smedley Station, was unlawful. ? Read more »

Forest and Bird hit out at the dodgy socialist dam

Good to see Forest & Bird taking more of an interest in preserving forests, conservation land and rivers than the Regional Council are.

They are taking the Ruataniwha dam proposal back to court.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has proposed exchanging 22 hectares of protected conservation land from Ruahine Forest Park in Hawke’s Bay for 170 hectares of farm land to make way for the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.

The conservation land is home to several threatened species.

Forest and Bird lawyer Sally Gepp said under law DoC does not have the power to swap protected conservation park land.

Justice Palmer said in the High Court decision he agreed with some of Forest and Bird’s submissions on the law but ruled the decision came within the broader conservation purpose of the legislation.

Ms Gepp said Forest and Bird has filed an appeal of that decision with the Court of Appeal. ? Read more »

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 takah? 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 takah? 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, t?ngata 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 »