Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Man Jailed For Driving Into Threatened Gull Colony

Media release


6 May 2013

Man Jailed For Driving Into Threatened Gull Colony

An Ashburton man has been successfully prosecuted by the Department of Conservation for damage to a nesting colony of endangered black-billed gulls (tarāpuka).

Samuel John Townhill pleaded guilty in the Ashburton District Court today to charges of destroying nests and disturbing a protected species when he drove into the large colony on the Ashburton/Hakatere riverbed in November last year.

Her Honour Judge Maze stated the importance of these particular gulls and their exclusive use of braided riverbeds made the preservation of them a responsibility we all share, including the defendant.

Judge Maze sentenced Townhill, who is currently imprisoned on other matters, to one month's jail cumulative on his current sentence under the Wildlife Act.

The offending occurred when, drove his vehicle into the colony near Tinwald Bridge, crushing eggs and distressing the nesting birds. Further nests were destroyed when Townhill was asked to move his vehicle out of the colony by police.

The incident is likely to have had a significant impact on the gull colony, which that year made up 11% of the total black-billed gull population, said DOC Raukapuka Area Office Manager George Hadler.

“Not only were eggs destroyed but the disturbance of adult birds would probably have caused other nests to fail.”

“We don’t know the exact numbers lost but this unnecessary mindless act would have had a serious impact on the colony.”

People killing and disturbing black-billed gulls is a real threat to the species and is unacceptable, as this prosecution shows, said Hadler.

In 2007 more than 100 adult birds were killed by vandals at the same site on the Ashburton riverbed, while in December last year some 50 chicks were killed in an incident on the Ashley River/Rakahuri north of Christchurch.

Black-billed gulls are found only in New Zealand and are classified as ‘nationally endangered’due to concern about their rate of decline and risk of extinction. Most of the population (95%) breeds on South Island riverbeds.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news