Hi Ross, Well done the Turangi cops. When we had our car broken into 5-6 years ago at the stones pool, all we got from the police was a blank stare and a form to fill in. (They did loan us a pen.) When asked we were told “it happens all the time.” We weren’t even fishing but left the car for a few minutes to see how many anglers were on the pool. Nice to see they are getting on top of it all now.
And on top of that we had a visit from the much relieved young French Canadian couple whose gear was stolen. She had recorded their scary experience on their travel blog so it was a relief that she could blog back to Canada and the rest of the world that the NZ cops solved it.
(Photos of Tongariro trout from TRM library)
Anglers are being warned to avoid eating fish caught in back country waters as they could be tainted by 1080 poison.
The Department of Conservation plans to aerially drop 1080 poison across 700,000 hectares of conservation land, mostly in the South Island, to reduce rodent numbers.
Fishing groups expressed concerns that mice – which were often eaten by trout – could carry sub-lethal amounts of 1080, posing a food safety risk for humans.
DOC commissioned independent research into the risk, finding 1080 levels in trout flesh were significantly higher than recognised food safety guidelines.
“Anglers fishing back country waters, including overseas anglers who come here because of the trout fishery’s international reputation, have always been able to assume that it is totally safe to catch a trout and eat it. Sadly, this turns that over,” he said.
“While we understand why DOC is doing this, the findings from this recent research has added a very significant and concerning new dimension to the 1080 debate”, Johnson said.
He believed the ramifications of the operation would extend “well beyond” the poison sites, but said Fish & Game had “been left with no choice” but to support DOC’s warning to anglers.
“Fish and Game is not saying don’t go fishing in the back country, just don’t eat the fish,” Johnson said.
– The Press
This was my letter to the Taupo Times, which has not been printed in full but has been used in an article on the front page today. There is information in my letter that the public needs to know. Please SHARE the below letter .
LETTER TO THE EDITOR –
35 YEAR 1080 CONSENT NEEDS PUBLIC INPUT
Cr Jollands of Taupo District Council said in her column last week that she wants the Waikato Regional Council to publicly notify the 35 year 1080 poison consent.
For those who don’t know, WRC, Department of Conservation, and TBfree are in the process of applying for a resource consent to aerially spread 1080 poison across Waikato forests and streams for 35 years. Previous consents were for ten years. Selected stakeholders were pre-consulted last year. However, neither Taupo District Council nor Taupo residents were in that list – nor were other councils in the Waikato region – and most councillors only became aware of this consent within the last couple of weeks.
WHY AM I CONCERNED THAT COUNCILS WEREN’T CONSULTED?
It said in the consent application that councils WERE consulted. That’s a significant error.
Through an Official Information Act request, Cr Graf asked to see the consent application and submissions. The summary provided said that all local authorities were consulted, yet only one submission was received from Thames Coromandel District Council.
That seemed odd so we wrote letters to councillors throughout the Waikato to ask why they hadn’t sent feedback.
Almost all councillors that replied said they hadn’t been told about the consent.
WRC chief executive Vaughan Payne confirmed late last week that WRC did NOT consult with councils and that the statement to the contrary that was in the consent application was an error. WRC never intended to consult with local authorities because they’re not “affected parties.”
I’ve heard this statement about “affected parties” a few too many times lately (the carp farm debate is ringing bells). Most often I hear it in controversial topics, and most often in cases where the thing we need most is community feedback.
DECISION-MAKING BASED ON MISINFORMATION
WRC councillors were asked in December to make a decision about whether to direct staff to publicly notify this consent, a decision that would have allowed the public to have a say. Councillors were told to consider the level of public interest in this consent; in the same paragraph they were told that only one council had given feedback. It made it look like people weren’t interested. But now that we know councils weren’t consulted, I’m surprised we received a single submission!
In my opinion, the WRC councillors’ vote at the December 2015 meeting (6-7) was based on misinformation and the decision about public notification should be reviewed.
SO SHOULD TAUPO DISTRICT COUNCIL (AND OTHER COUNCILS) HAVE BEEN CONSULTED?
I believe they should.
In Taupo, Turangi, and Rotorua, ‘brand’ is paramount. The perception of this area as being clean and green and a popular destination for tourists, hunters and fishermen, is worth vast amounts to our economy. Our community’s ability to thrive is dependent on the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, and the animals that inhabit these wild places. The cafes and restaurants benefit hugely from these attractions too. We spend a lot of money keeping these natural resources in a healthy state. The carp farm debate that raged recently demonstrates how important our environment is to us in this part of the world.
An economic analysis done nearly a decade ago identified hunting and fishing as being of more economic value to the Taupo-Turangi community than agriculture. Tourists are attracted here from all over the world because of the ability to fish and hunt in a pristine environment.
THE PROS AND CONS TO THE TAUPO COMMUNITY
When aerial drops are undertaken, possums and rats are killed, but so are non-target bird species, deer and pigs, and domestic animals. Poison baits are dropped directly into streams. Toxic carcasses are left to decompose, which leads to secondary poisoning of a variety of species that feed on them, including trout. Every now and then there are headlines that affect Taupo’s international reputation, such as 1080 prompts trout warning http://i.stuff.co.nz/environme…/…/1080-prompts-trout-warning
The Taupo brand is affected by 1080 and many people in our community are affected parties. This 35 year 1080 consent is a major change, from ten years to 35 years, and it’s a complex, controversial topic. Councils should have been part of the conversation when the wellbeing of their community, and their ability to protect their brand is so clearly affected by this consent.
I agree with Cr Jollands. Do the right thing, WRC. Publicly notify the 1080 consent.
Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua
Please note that this is my personal view, and it is not necessarily the view of Waikato Regional Council.