A single orca death needs a taxpayer funded necropsy?

Photo / Charles Formery via NZ Herald

A dead orca has washed up on a West Auckland beach.

Orca are considered nationally critical in New Zealand, and known threats include interactions with fisheries and boat strikes. The death is being investigated.

The orca was discovered on Whatipu Beach, 40km west of downtown Auckland, and reported to the Department of Conservation (DoC). Photos taken by rangers show possible blunt force trauma to the head.

A team from Massey University will today do a necropsy to establish cause of death, and also take biological sampling to assess diet and pollutant loads in the adult male whale. Read more »


DOC admits to substantial 1080 by-kill

Source/ Facebook

Source/ Facebook

Simply put, DOC rationalise continued 1080 use on the basis that it kills more pests than it does non-target species, and the resulting environment then encourages those species to recover ‘faster’.

New Zealand’s biggest pest poisoning programme killed 95 per cent of the rats it went after and more evidence shows forests are better off after 1080 drops, scientists say.

The New Zealand Ecological Society 2015 Conference is being held at the University of Canterbury this week and one focus is on the use and effects of 1080, or sodium fluoroacetate.

The toxin has been widely used for pest control in New Zealand since the 1950s – possums are a target because they spread tuberculosis – but critics say it kills more than just pests.

Last year the Department of Conservation carried out its largest poisoning operation, largely 1080 drops over 680,000 hectares, in response to a one-in-15-year beech mast season which would have fuelled a pest population explosion. Read more »


The Media Party run another campaign – part 1


This time, against the Government, assisting Labour in making National look like they don’t care about people.

Labour concerned about Lake Waikeremoana[SIC] bridge failure

Labour’s concerned about the failure of a swing bridge near Lake Waikeremoana[SIC].

It collapsed as four tourists walked across it, dropping them eight metres into a river below.

An investigation’s been launched, and Conservation spokeswoman Ruth Dyson hopes it’s thorough.

“This was a very lucky escape, and I am so relieved that nobody was injured. But it could have been quite different.”

Conservation workers had checked the bridge just three months ago.


That’s all of it.

No attempt at balance. ? And of course it’s only Labour that’s concerned. ?? Read more »


The Germans invaded us in WWII

A study by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries showed German and common wasps, which belong to the genus Vespula, have had huge economic impacts on farming, beekeeping, horticulture and forestry.

Department of Conservation scientist Eric Edwards said the loss of honey production was one of the major costs.

“When hives are placed down the back of the farm, wasps will come along, and they are interested in the honey and the bees themselves. They will eat both.

“They just worry the hives initially and so the bees spend time, energetic resources defending their hive. So that’s the cost when bees could otherwise be doing pollination work.” 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:



DOC staff receive training to deal with those pesky New Zealand bush fires

The New Zealand tax payer has been footing the bill for Kiwi DOC workers to be trained in Australian bush fire fighting techniques. ?Why? ?Well, mostly so that when Australia need them, they can go over there to help.

Actually, that’s not true. ? Mostly, so they can have a rort on our money.

John Weekes is on the story:

The Department of Conservation spent more than $100,000 sending staff overseas to learn a firefighting skill they don’t even use here ? and it plans to send them again.

As many as 47 staff are understood to have crossed the Tasman to learn how to conduct controlled burn-offs. DoC does not use the technique here and one staff member who went on the trips admitted the group didn’t “really do much fire stuff”.

Details of the trips are revealed in documents obtained under the Official Information Act.

They include an internal DoC email which discussed what “excuse” the department could use for sending staff on the trips.

Senior official Damian Coutts wrote the trips cost the taxpayer “substantially” and admitted it would be difficult to sustain them in future. He said “experience” and NZ Qualifications Authority unit standards were plausible excuses for taking the trips.

What excuse can we put up to buy ourselves a staff ‘working holiday’ in Australia… ? heads should roll here. ? 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

Hands up! Who doesn’t know a waterfall is dangerous?

I’m done with facepalms for the weekend, but cop a load of this

A man is missing after he leapt 11 metres off a waterfall to save a friend who was swept away last night.

Emergency?services were called to Maruia Falls south of Murchison at about 7.20pm after reports of two men falling over the falls.

A 55-year-old man?from Christchurch was rescued and flown to hospital with spinal injuries but his friend, also from Christchurch and aged 55, is still missing.

The first of the men to get in trouble had?been swimming in a pool above the falls before being sucked down a chute and over the falls, emergency services said.

It is the second?serious incident at the falls in less than a week after a?Belgian?tourist crossed a barrier to take a photograph and lost his footing, falling four metres on Wednesday.

Concerns have been raised about the lack of warning signs about the dangers that exist in the area.

Department of Conservation (DOC) ranger Phil Crawford said signs were installed in a carparking area after the death of a man who plunged over the falls in 2011.

However, staff discovered the signs had disappeared after Wednesday’s incident.

That may be so. ?But I don’t have to stand next an LPG hose with matches in my hand going “you know, there is no sign about naked flames here, I’m sure it’s allright then”. ? Read more »


Map of the Day


Environmentally Protected Land

Labour supports West Coast mining; laments lost opportunities

Well. ?How’s that going to work out in a coalition government with the Greens?

Conservation Spokesperson
West Coast-Tasman MP
Denniston deal a lost opportunity
The Government has missed an opportunity to allow conservation groups and the mining company Bathurst to reach a compromise over the Denniston Plateau by riding roughshod over the process, says Labour?s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

?There was a real possibility of a win-win for both sides that would have seen mining go ahead while other areas were protected for conservation purposes. A compromise could have been reached but the Government has stepped in at the last minute and blown that out of the water.

?It is so desperate to get runs on the board after the Solid Energy shambles and the loss of hundreds of mining jobs that it has overridden the process.

Read more »