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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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