Home' Greymouth Star : August 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, August 21, 2015 - 5
The Department of
Conser vation has put an
immediate halt to pukeko culling
operations near threatened takahe
populations after four takahe were
shot in a cull on Motutapu Island
in the Hauraki Gulf.
DOC confirmed this morning
an examination of the dead birds
on the island sanctuary early this
week showed they were killed by
The island’s cull was undertaken
by “experienced members” of the
local Deerstalkers’ Association,
DOC’s northern conser vation
ser vices director Andrew Baucke
DOC was in talks with the
association, which is said to be
“co-operating fully” with inquiries.
Mr Baucke said takahe and
pukeko had similar colouring and
could be mistaken for each other.
The hunters were carefully
briefed on how to tell the
difference between them,
including instructions to shoot
only birds on the wing, he said.
“Guidelines introduced after an
incident on Mana Island seven
years ago when another takahe
was mistakenly shot during a
pukeko cull were also used during
last week’s cull.”
The takahe were shot while
volunteers were carrying out a cull
of 600 pukeko in the protected,
pest-free haven for endangered
The embarrassing mistake has
angered iwi who approved the
transfer of the rare birds from the
South Island to the sanctuary.
The takahe were killed by
experienced members of the local
deerstalkers group, which DOC
depends on for some conser vation
DOC’s northern conser vation
ser vices director Andrew Baucke
said pukeko had “ very similar
colouring” to the flightless
takahe and the volunteers may
have mixed up the two species.
Hunters had been briefed on the
differences between the two birds
after a similar incident on Mana
Island seven years ago, when one
takahe was killed.
Mr Baucke said the deaths were
“deeply disappointing” for DOC
and the volunteers.
conser vation efforts, there are
only 300 takahe left and the
species is classified as “critically
The takahe on Motutapu had
been translocated from the
Fiordland National Park, where
the only wild population of the
birds is based.
South Island iwi Ngai Tahu is
understood to be angry about the
deaths, especially as it came soon
after the recent controversy in
Southland about the hunting of
keruru, another protected species.
Labour MP Rino Tirakatene,
who had spoken to Ngai Tahu
conser vation board members,
said: “ There’s no way that they
would send their treasured
takahe to a sanctuary for it to be
“There are even calls for the
return home of those birds.
There is a lot of goodwill that
goes with these gifts to improve
the biodiversity and to see that
they ’ve needlessly been bowled
over by some deer hunters is just
“ It shows complete
incompetence on DOC’s part to
bring in these Barry Crump-type
good keen men. ”
Pukeko are as common as ducks
and geese and because they are a
highly aggressive species they are
considered a threat to rare native
Takahe were thought to be
extinct in the early 20th century
but were rediscovered in 1948 in
the South Island. Two-thirds of
the population are now based in
“safe sites” including Motutapu,
while around 100 live in the wild
within Fiordland National Park.
DOC stops pukeko cull after takahe shot
Volunteers from the Deerstalkers’ Association had shot four takahe, seen here at rear, while carrying
out a cull of 600 pukeko on Motutapu Island, in the Hauraki Gulf.
Fletcher Construction chief executive
Graham Darlow has apologised to the
Irish community after suggesting that
some builders who carried out shoddy
repair work on Christchurch earthquake
damaged homes had “gone back to
Darlow made the comments at a press
conference on Wednesday releasing
the findings of a Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
quake repair sur vey.
The sur vey of about 100 Canterbury
homes found 32 had foundation
repairs that did not meet Building Act
An additional 23 homes were assessed
as having minor repair defects
Mr Darlow said the affected properties
would be brought up to standard by the
contractor at no cost to the homeowner
or the Earthquake Commission.
“There may be a few that we can’t find
the contractor, maybe they ’ve gone out
of business, maybe they ’ve gone back to
Ireland, and for those Fletcher will be
fronting for the cost of that repair.”
His comments quickly attracted
disbelief among the Irish community
both in New Zealand and in Ireland and
were reported in the Irish Mirror and
Irish news website thejournal.ie.
In a since removed post on the Irish
People in New Zealand Facebook
page Lisa Tipping wrote that as a New
Zealander married to an Irishman, “I am
utterly appalled at the comment ”.
Mr Darlow has since apologised if his
comments were misinterpreted as being
critical of Irish builders.
“New Zealand could never have rebuilt
Canterbury at this pace and to this high
standard without the huge contribution
of builders and contractors from Ireland
and many other international countries,”
A key finding from the MBIE sur vey
was that 30 of the 32 homes with
non-compliant repairs involved floor re-
levelling using the “ jack and pack” repair
The method involves a home being
temporarily jacked up to allow packing
to be inserted between the piles and the
under floor framing, to re-level floors.
MBIE building system performance
general manager Adrian Regnault said
there were no concerns for the safety of
occupants in the non-compliant repaired
“The consequences of a poor ‘jack
and pack’ are that the house would fall
out of level over time or more quickly
if there were another earthquake
similar in intensity to the Canterbury
earthquakes,” he said.
A house that is out of level may have
doors and windows sticking, and uneven
The level of non-compliance was
disappointing, Mr Regnault said.
“Jack and pack is a relatively simple
repair job when done correctly and
properly super vised.
“More complex structural repairs
inspected in the sur vey were generally
done well, which suggests some corners
were cut on the smaller jobs and
they lacked adequate super vision and
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Pair charged with robbery
Two Dunedin men charged with the
knifepoint robbery of a Q ueenstown
liquor store and subsequent car-jacking
on Wednesday have made a brief
appearance in court.
Appearing in the Queenstown District
Court yesterday, both men were granted
interim name suppression by Judge
Mark Callaghan, who declined media
requests to take photos of the accused.
The pair, aged 17 and 24, are jointly
charged with robbing Henry’s liquor
store of $2000 cash with an offensive
weapon, and robbing Wilma Mary
Nehoff with an offensive weapon.
The older of the two also faces a charge
of causing bodily harm to the younger
man while in charge of a motor vehicle
with a breath-alcohol reading of 992mg.
Neither defendant applied for bail and
were remanded in custody to appear in
the same court on separate dates.
Judge Callaghan remanded the older
defendant until September 14 for a
bail hearing. The other defendant was
remanded until August 31. He is to
appear in the Dunedin District Court
next month on another matter.
— Otago Daily Times
White bread link to obesity
White bread is the food most
frequently consumed by Pacific Island
children in Auckland and may be an
important contributor to their high rate
of obesity, a sur vey has found.
Published in today’s New Zealand
Medical Journal, the long-term study
of 800 children found that at age 10,
50% were obese and another 30% were
over weight. This rate of obesity is double
that found in the latest national sur vey
for Pacific children aged two to 14,
although the two checks found similar
rates of over weight children.
“ Pacific people in the South Island
tend to have less obesity than the
North Island,” one of the authors of the
journal article, Professor Elaine Rush, a
nutrition expert at Auckland University
of Technology, said.
The AUT study asked the parents
when their children were four and again
at six to recall what the children ate in
the preceding four weeks. Ser ving size
was not investigated.
Bread was the standout. The six-year-
olds on average ate bread 1.2 times a day,
followed by breakfast cereal — once a
day — and rice every two days.
Milk declined from almost once daily
at age four to about once every three
days at six, by which age powdered
sugary “fruit ” drinks were consumed
nearly as often.
By food group, cereals and breads were
the largest proportion of food ser vings
eaten daily, at 26% for the six-year-olds,
compared with vegetables on 15%.
“Based on a high prevalence . . . of
over weight (including the obese) and
rapid growth among this cohort,” the
researchers say, “we hypothesised an
energy-dense food pattern consistent
with a high frequency of refined
carbohydrates, fats and meats. Higher-
energy refined carbohydrates constituted
around a quarter of all food in the food
frequency questionnaire, where cereals
and breads contributed to a quarter of all
Prof Rush appealed to supermarkets
selling $1 loaves of white bread to
promote more widely the fact that they
also sell wheatmeal at the same low
“It’s more healthy — in little steps.
These small changes to a whole
population make a big difference. ”
She said the ideal dinner plate was
half full of vegetables, with a quarter
devoted to good-quality carbohydrates,
including potatoes, and a quarter for
protein sources such as fish, lean meats
and chicken, and lentils and beans.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
Speedster’s car confiscated
A Queenstown shearer who drove
at an average speed of 149kph along
a treacherous gorge road has been
sentenced to 300 hours’ community work.
Jeremy Russell Lemin, 30, was also
banned from driving for 18 months
and had his 1996 Mitsubishi GTi car
confiscated, in the Queenstown District
Lemin was stopped by police in
Cromwell on July 30. Just 16 minutes
earlier he had failed to stop for a patrol
car in Arrowtown — 40km away
through the Kawarau Gorge.
He was convicted of dangerous driving
and failing to stop for police. Judge Mark
Callaghan said a fine was unsuitable as
Lemin had more than $8000 in unpaid
fines. — Otago Daily Times
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