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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
slain as siege ends
Two Subaru cars stolen from
separate Hokitika addresses early
yesterday morning are still missing.
They were taken from houses in
Revell and Sewell streets. Police
today reminded people to ensure
they always secured their vehicles
overnight, and to phone the police
immediately if they heard any
suspicious activity. Meanwhile,
Greymouth police said nothing
appeared to have been taken from
a car that was unlawfully entered
on Main South Road overnight.
The owner reported this morning
there were signs that someone had
interfered with the vehicle.
Sirens for food
Greymouth police community
senior constable Mike Tinnelly, left,
Greymouth Fire Brigade volunteer
support officer Hugh Trembath
and Kelvin Ritchie of St John are
preparing for a drive tomorrow
evening — all for a good cause.
The annual emergency ser vices
food drive for the Salvation Army
foodbank will be held from 5.30pm,
with sirens wailing. The 90-minute
street collection by police, fire,
and ambulance will cover the
greater Greymouth area, from the
Taramakau River to as far afield
as Stillwater and Runanga. Mr
Tinnelly said people were always
generous in their donations of dry
and canned foods, and the drive
boosted food bank stocks well into
the New Year.
Jerking while you drive is never
a good idea. No, not like that —
though you would not be the first
to make that error. A North Dakota
safe driving campaign warning
drivers of the dangers of over-
correcting or ‘jerking’ their steering
wheels in icy conditions has been
pulled after people were offended by
the double-entendre. Trevor Jones,
the secretary of the Department of
Public Safety, said that although
the allusion to masturbation was
deliberately inserted to get people’s
attention, it was now ‘distracting’
from the advert’s message. “I
decided to pull the ad,” he said.
“This is an important safety message
and I don’t want this innuendo to
distract from our goal to save lives
on the road.” — Metro
High cloud increasing
Conservation estimates its
massive 1080 poison drops
aimed at stopping a rat plague
had killed 800,000 rodents in
one West Coast drop alone.
However, it did concede that
three tracked kea had died during
the poisoning, and 25 rock wren
Over the past four months,
DOC has undertaken an
unprecedented 25 aerial poison
operation over about 550,000ha
in the so-called Battle for Our
Birds to combat the biggest
beech seed-fuelled rodent plague
seen in 15 years.
Rat numbers had reached
extreme levels at some sites, but
early results show populations
Field staff tracked 43 radio-
tagged kea throughout the
Kahurangi and South Westland
operations; three of those birds
died from 1080 poisoning.
“It’s unfortunate to lose any kea,
but without protection most kea
chicks are killed by stoats so the
population gains from one good
breeding season more than offset
the losses of individual birds,”
project director Mike Slater said.
Monitoring teams had also
been unable to locate about 25
rock wren under study in the
Kahurangi National Park.
The small insect-eating birds
were difficult to track in their
alpine habitat, he said, noting
that none had been found dead.
“It’s not clear whether we have
lost birds to heavy snow that fell
in the area after the operation,
1080 or predator attack, and
more work is required to try to
pinpoint this,” Mr Slater said.
Protecting native species was
an ongoing battle and DOC
would be analysing the results
closely to refine plague response
“ We know that rats and stoats
will inevitably re-invade many
areas over time, so the war is far
However, the poison operations
would give some of the most
vulnerable birds a “precious
window to raise their young this
Staff would continue to monitor
bird and predator numbers, as
well as stepping up other existing
for the Environment Jan Wright
yesterday congratulated DOC on
the initial results.
Dr Wright said it was
unfortunate that three kea had
died from 1080 poisoning.
campaign, far more birds would
have been killed by rats and stoats,
and some species decimated in
many areas. In 2000, a predator
plague following a seed mast
wiped out the last yellowhead/
mohua from the Marlborough
“ We are lucky that we have
1080 available,” she said.
West Coast Battle for our Birds
Abbey Rocks, Paringa,
15,013ha by November 7. Rats
were 27%; now 0. Mice were
10%, now 0. Stoats were 10%,
25,53ha by November 6. Rats
were 5%; now 0. Mice were 26%;
Maruia, 81,000ha. Rats were
67%; now 37. Mice were 12%,
now 42%. Rat tracking after the
drop was highest here. DOC said
pest control killed about 80% of
rats — an estimated 800,000 out
of one million.
Oparara, Karamea, 65,000ha.
Rats were 63%, now 0. Mice were
4%, now 2%.
Season of giving
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
St Patrick’s Primary School pupil Pyper Murphy with Sister Theresa Scott, of Cobden Mercy Outreach, and the presents donated to the sisters by school
families. Children brought about 40 presents to give to other children through the St Vincent de Paul Society and Cobden Mercy Outreach. Teacher Carmel
Kelly said the school donated presents each year and taught children that Christmas was about giving, not just receiving.
The draft Opus plan for the Greymouth
central business district is out for public
feedback. Over the next few weeks the
Greymouth Star, in conjunction with the
Grey District Council, will run a daily
Today: Should there be a pedestrian
and bicycle link between the Cobden
Bridge and the floodwall?
“The project drivers for
development proposal came through
in the Vision Test Quick-poll; 47% of
respondents suggested that the ideal way
to connect with the Cobden recreation
and ecological reserves was by walking
or riding,” council community economic
development adviser Erin McGoldrick
A pedestrian and cycle link connecting
the floodwall with the Cobden Bridge
could be a more direct and inviting
connection between the banks of the
river, she said.
It could be a landmark providing a sense
of arrival to those entering the CBD by
train and travelling via State highway.
It might utilise the innovation of local
artists and engineering expertise to create
a landmark structure that incorporates
viewing platforms to take in broader views
of the river mouth and surrounding hills.
Today’s question is: How might this
pedestrian and bicycle link take shape
using our local creative and engineering
You can e-mail your response to
email@example.com or do
the entire sur vey on-line at
Greymouth renewal: Question of the day
A 1080 operator found a noose
hanging from a tree as he was leaving a
job on the West Coast.
Agency yesterday released its 2013
annual report on 1080 poison.
It says that in July last year a contractor
was putting up warning signs in the
Big River Hut to Soldiers Road area,
south of Reefton. The contractor was
approached by a member of the public
and “they spoke pleasantly but not
about the operation”, before leaving.
But when the contractor was leaving
the area they came across a threatening
spray painted message on a tree.
“ Further along the track a rope in a
hangman’s noose spray painted the
same colour was hanging from the
tree,” the report said.
In August, a complaint was made
about a 1080 drop at Otira after several
poisoned baits were discovered outside
the operational area.
The EPA said there was no evidence
from the flight lines showing the
permitted boundary had been breached.
“ It is uncertain how the baits came
to be outside the operational area.
However, it may be a combination of
the very steep landscape in the gorge
with baits falling on to rocks and
bouncing downhill, and that GPS is not
100% accurate in such steep terrain. It’s
also possible that wind was generated
by the gorge terrain.”
The report found the 1080 regime was
working as intended with the benefits
of using 1080 being seen while the risks
The EPA received 57 reports of aerial
1080 operations, covering 448,210ha
— almost a quarter of that on the West
There were eight breaches of the
Hazardous Substances and New
Organisms (HSNO) legislation
controls, which occurred during seven
operations. That is up from five reported
in 2012, but is below the 11 reported in
2011. The EPA noted there had been
an increase in 1080 use, so it was not
Post-operational water monitoring
was carried out for 17 of the aerial
1080 operations last year, with over
70 individual tests reported. The tests
can detect down to 0.1mg of 1080 per
litre of water. No samples contained
concentrations of 1080 above the
method detection limit.
EPA chairwoman Kerry Prendergast
said the majority of incidents were
reported by operators and funding
agencies rather than by members of the
public or other agencies.
making sure to engage with locals and
iwi,” Ms Prendergast said.
Noose greets 1080 contractor
& Masons Healthcare Reefton
NOT SURE WHAT TO BUY
Let the Elfs at Masons
Pharmacy sort it out for you!!
Phone 768 7470
0508 462 766 (0508 4MASON)
BBQ Meat Packs Available
Sausages, Steak, Venison Patties, Bacon
. . . madetoorder.
Perfect for parties or family get togethers.
Ph 732 4111
Shop Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 9am-2pm
We have a large range
of Salami and
small goods available.
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