Here’s how we can stop the kiwi pipeline – Action Station

By   /   April 21, 2017  /   4 Comments

Just imagine this 10-metre billboard truck parked outside Maggie Barry’s office next week. Chip in here to make it happen.

“’It comes down to predator control’ – Maggie Barry’s plan of attack to replenish our kiwi numbers.”

That was the headline when our Minister of Conservation announced the Government’s plan to boost our kiwi population.1

More recently it was, “Maggie Barry has declared war on stoats in the Rimutaka Forest Park”.2

Maggie, it would seem, is on a mission to save our kiwi from predators. If you ask me, a pipeline is pretty damn big predator.

We want to call Maggie up on her promise to protect the kiwi from predators in a big way. Our plan is to put our message on a 10-metre billboard on the back of a truck and drive it around her electorate of North Shore, Auckland. I’m already in the process of booking the truck, and have been in touch with some designers who can help make my mock up look much better.

Will you please chip in – even if it’s $1 – to help make it happen?

Last week Okuru Enterprises was granted resource consent by the Westland District Council to build the pipeline by Mt Aspiring National Park. The company has also been granted consent to take 800,000 tonnes, or 800 million litres per month. 3,4

I’ve read the consent and what it states is that Okuru Enterprises must develop a ‘kiwi management plan’, with the objective of “avoiding adverse effects from construction and ongoing activities within conservation land on Haast tokoeka [kiwi] living within a 100ha radius of the proposed pipeline route”.

It goes on to state that if kiwi are adversely affected, they will be “removed from the site”. 3

But here’s the thing, Martyn – ‘If things go wrong, we can just move the kiwi’ is a really bad precedent to set.

To make matters worse, earlier today the team at Forest & Bird told me that the endangered Fiordland Crested Penguin also lives in the pathway of the pipeline at Jackson’s Bay.

That’s these little guys:

We’ve had a lot of ideas about how we can keep the pressure on with this campaign:

  • Renting a huge truck to park in front of Maggie Barry’s office or Parliament next week — a real attention grabber for Ms Barry and the media
  • Making human-sized kiwi costumes to follow Ms Barry around the North Shore and everywhere else
  • Building a giant pipeline through Ms Barry’s office in Takapuna
  • Put an ad on the front page of the Otago Daily Times to rally big support

We’re only limited by our imaginations and what we can raise together now. Click on the link to chip in:

To their credit, Okuru Enterprises did get the input of an independent kiwi expert called John McClennan, who has worked with kiwi conservation programs for decades. He was called in as an independent consultant to look at the scheme when permission was first sought in 1993, and has stayed up-to-date on the project. He says he is confident the pipeline would have minimal impact on the kiwi if it does go ahead.

But we don’t think one person’s opinion, informed as it may be, is enough.

According to the Council’s notes from the consent meeting, only three submissions were made in regards to the pipeline project – all in opposition. But we’ve had more than 13,000 people sign this petition, so we know more people care about our kiwi and our national parks than that!

The low submission turnout will have more do with the fact that the Council didn’t notify people about the process, and if you did manage to find out about the process, submissions had to be done via the post with a form you download from the website. Talk about a barrier to democracy!

The proposal to take our water, ship it off shore for what seems like marginal benefit to the local community but with a potentially catastrophic cost to a species that’s already at critical risk of extinction looks like a bad one.

As we know from our own history, humans tend to underestimate how wrong things can go, and it’s usually our trees, rivers, birds and lakes that pay the cost.

Will you chip in so we can put our message to Maggie Barry on a giant billboard and drive it around Takapuna for all her constituents to see?


Thank you for taking action.

Mā te wā (bye for now),

Laura on behalf of the team at ActionStation.

PS – An application to renew a coastal permit for a 5km pipeline extending into Jackson’s Bay (where the penguins live) is the final consent required for this project to go through. It is pending with the Council, and I’ve just found out that public submissions on the application close tomorrow!

If you can’t chip in right now, the other way you can help is by emailing the West Coast Regional Council. They haven’t notified the public about this submission process, so there’s no way for us to contribute through the official channels, but by flooding their inbox we can ensure the voices of thousands of New Zealanders are heard when they go into work tomorrow.

The email address is:

You don’t need to be an expert to send an email, just explain why you are personally concerned about the pipeline, why you care about kiwi and/or what you love about Mount Aspiring National Park and why you think it needs protecting.


‘It comes down to predator control’ – Maggie Barry’s plan of attack to replenish our kiwi numbers, 1News, October 7 2016

Maggie Barry declares war on Rimutaka Park stoats, Stuff, January 26 2017

Key consent for West Coast water scheme will not renew automatically as it allows pipe to go through Kiwi Sanctuary, The Press, April 16 2017

Controversial West Coast water export scheme granted resource consent, Stuff, 7 April 2017

Consent meeting notes from the Council

Water consent protest mounting, Otago Daily Times, April 15 2017

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  1. These water sales are madness. We’ve got a premium product, we shouldn’t be letting anyone pay anything less than premium price. Plus we could make them pay for some breeding programmes or something.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Im no fashion expert but that penguin is wesring a suit to his own funeral and one should never assume captainplanets gender.

      Maybe we should treat this like a therapy session so every one can lean back, relaxe and take deep breaths and let captain Maggie put every ones minds at ease. It was worth a shot.

      If it isn’t water being sold tax free then it could be workers being sold like tax free coupons, so it’s an industry solid, you know, some, do themselves a solid by not paying proper super contributions, holiday pay or pay below minimum.

      Or if it wasn’t workers being sold out it is primary industry being sold out because new zealand couldn’t produce a thousand jarrah anything lining hotel lobbies. Its like we cant even be stuffed installing robots to give an audible response because they’re hooked on electricity.

      You can lead a kiwi to water but you cant make them drink. And make no mistakes, they are all thursty. And Hone and Gareth have some medicine to dish out.

  2. Michelle says:

    I was hoping Maggie might fall of a rock or something she is rotten to the core and very condescending hope she is gone at the Sept election she only got in of keys back so did many of the other incompetents we have running our country

  3. Wha Left says:

    Just watched Water & Power: A California Heist (2017) last night on National Geographic channel.

    Water theft Corporatisation and privatisation of this publically owned commodity is Jack Nicholson’s Chinatown with a neoliberal twist. In the free market, water is a tradeable, stealable commodity, that is being taken from the public and sell to the highest bidder.

    Once upon a time people sought the source of the Nile, now follow this greed trail and find the source of the Vile.

    The same reasons Environment Canterbury, a once democratically elected body, was sacked by the National Govt.

    In March 2010, the National Government sacked the Environment Canterbury councillors[16] and replaced them with commissioners:[17]
    Margaret Bazley (Chair)
    Hon. David Caygill (Deputy Chair)
    David Bedford
    Donald Couch
    Tom Lambie
    Professor Peter Skelton
    Rex Williams
    The commissioners held their first public meeting on 6 May 2010.The National Government initially promised a return to elected councillors with the local elections in October 2013. In September 2012, this was revised for commissioners to stay until the October 2016 local elections. In March 2014, a statutory review in ECan was begun, and the National Government released a public discussion document in March 2015 outlining a proposal for the regional council’s future, with a stated preference for a mixed model of seven elected members and six members appointed by the government. Nick Smith, as Minister for the Environment, stated that “it may be appropriate to consider these options beyond 2019”. Louise Upston, as Associate Minister for Local Government, justified the mixed model as it “could provide the necessary stability for Canterbury from 2016”. Former district councillor and now member of parliament Sage criticised the government backdown as denying Cantabrians to make their own decisions. Artist Sam Mahon, who is a strong opponent of the sacking of the councillors, gave his opinion as the proposal presenting “just status quo, that gives the perception of democracy”. Smith confirmed the mixed model in July 2015, with seven councillors to be elected in 2016 alongside six appointed commissioners, with a return to a fully elected council in 2019.

    If Labour want to win in Christchurch, they’ll sack the commissioners the Monday after their election win and reinstate democracy over Canterbury’s water commodity. Greens would expect nothin less.